The Wheels Are Already Coming Off For Toyota's First Electric Car

Electric Vehicles / 8 Comments

This isn't what we expect from the Japanese automaker.

It hasn't even been a year since the Toyota bZ4X hit the market and, already, it's the subject of a global recall. The Japanese automaker announced that 2,700 examples of the electric crossover are at risk of losing a wheel as a result of loosening wheel nuts.

The problem is caused by everyday driving, with Toyota's statement noting that "sharp turns and sudden braking" could cause the bolts to come loose. "If you continue to drive in that state, abnormal noise will be generated, and in the worst case, the tires may fall off."

It may sound amusing, but this is no laughing matter. The serious defect poses a threat to not only bZ4X owners but to other road users as well. Toyota has requested customers to not drive the EV until there's a solution to the problem.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Rearward Vision Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Front Angle View Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Side View Toyota

Of the 2,700 affected vehicles, 260 were destined for the United States. The majority were expected to head towards Europe, with the rest earmarked for the Canadian and Japanese markets. Subaru has also recalled more than 430 examples of the bZ4X's twin, the Solterra.

It must be said that Toyota has voluntarily recalled the affected batch and didn't choose to wait for a government agency to intervene. As such, there's no record of the recall on the NHTSA's website. The world's largest automaker (by sales) reported the problem to the Japanese Ministry of Transport, which it should be applauded for.

Still, this is the last thing Toyota needs for its newly-released EV SUV. Normally a trailblazer in all fields, Toyota has fallen behind in the electrification race and is being overtaken by other brands and smaller players.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Front Angle Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Driving Back View Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Wheel Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Charge Port Toyota

An unnecessary safety scandal is the last thing it needs. However, knowing Toyota, it's already back at the drawing board trying to figure out how to solve the problem. In recent months, the automaker has come under fire by environmental groups. Denmark's AkademikerPension criticized the brand for not committing to the electric future.

The brand argues that it's taking a measured approach and won't abandon ICE vehicles as the combustion engine still serves a large part of the global market. Rather, Toyota is exploring different avenues with regard to alternative energy.

Its work with hybrid technology is well-documented and the company continues to further its hydrogen energy trials; aside from a planned hydrogen-powered Corolla Cross, it also competes in motorsport events with a hydrogen Corolla race car.

2023 Toyota bZ4X Driver Area Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Instrument Cluster Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Gearbox Controls Toyota
2023 Toyota bZ4X Engine Toyota

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2023 Toyota bZ4X Driver Area
2023 Toyota bZ4X Instrument Cluster
2023 Toyota bZ4X Gearbox Controls
2023 Toyota bZ4X Engine

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