Toyota is recalling 2,700 units of its recently launched fully electric SUV bZ4X after reports warn that its wheels could come loose while driving. The Japanese automaker is investigating the cause of this defect and urged consumers to avoid using those vehicles until they get repaired. The recalled vehicles were to be distributed in the EU, the US, Canada and Japan.
“After low-mileage use, all of the hub bolts on the wheel can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle. If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash. The cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation. No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed,” said Toyota in a press release.
According to Japan’s safety regulator, sudden braking and sharp turns raise the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle. Subaru Corporation is also recalling over 2,000 units of its Solterra vehicle, developed with Toyota, for the same reason.
“As a leader in electrification, Toyota’s introduction of bZ4X represents the first of a global series of battery-electric vehicles to be introduced under the global “Toyota bZ” brand umbrella,” said Toyota when the vehicle made its US production model debut. The bZ4X aimed to create a net positive impact by following a vision that would go beyond just reducing its carbon footprint to zero. “This electrifying lineup boasts zero emissions and is part of the automaker’s diverse portfolio of vehicles, which will include 15 BEVs,” added the OEM.
According to its sustainability strategy, the automaker is committed to have zero impact on the environment at every stage of a vehicle’s lifecycle. Since the production of its Prius hybrid model, Toyota has managed to reduce CO2 emissions by over 100 million tons. The automaker believes in an approach beyond electric vehicles, which is the reason it introduced hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, battery electric vehicles and fuel cell electric vehicles powered by hydrogen.
However, European pension funds recently criticized Toyota’s slow approach to the transition to electric vehicles (EVs). The Japanese automaker claims that a fast transition to EVs could increase pollution if the energy is sourced from fossil fuels.
The OEM has sold over 90,000 hybrid electric vehicles in Mexico, dominating 85 percent of the hybrid vehicle market, according to INEGI. Toyota’s plants in Baja California and Guanajuato are two of the most modern facilities across the world, reports the company. “Our HEV offer in the country has grown steadily. In 2010, we introduced Prius and today we have a wide HEV offer, which includes Prius. In addition to the Camry, Corolla, our superstar RAV4 and Sienna, which is now exclusively produced in its HEV version,” said Luis Lozano, President, Toyota Motor de Mexico, to MBN.