The fix isn't here yet but a $5,000 credit or buying the car back are on the table.
When buyers lined up for the debut of Toyota's first electric crossover, it was a no-brainer. After all, the company is known for superior build quality that translates well into dependability. It's the main reason why owners will hold onto Corollas and Camrys for years before they consider upgrading. However, the launch of the bZ4X EV has been less than stellar for Toyota with a rapid recall.
It took just 2,700 units sold globally before Toyota recognized the mechanical problem affecting around 10% of the units on the road. The wheels could come off under hard braking due to a loose bolt somewhere in the hub assembly. Although it's been over a month since we caught wind of this issue, there still isn't a fix. According to a communication published by Toyota, owners should not drive their vehicles until a solution is found.
Toyota has come up with several solutions for bZ4X owners, however.
In letters sent out to owners, the company is prepared to provide a loaner and store the vehicle, reimburse owners for the fuel costs of the loaner, provide a credit of $5,000 towards your purchase however you paid for it, additional complimentary charging valid until December 31, 2024, or extend your vehicle warranty to match the length of the recall.
If none of the above works for you, Toyota will offer to buy back your bZ4X.
It's not alone as its Subaru twin, the Solterra, is facing the same issue. According to a notification letter on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) website, the same options mentioned above are applicable to Subaru owners, who have been urged to phone Toyota dealerships.
As for buying back cars, that may be an expensive solution considering the bZ4X EV crossover starts at $42,000. It's still early, so the situation could have been much worse if the EV was a hotter seller. Of the 2,700 units sold, the number affected in the US is 661 units, split between the bZ4X and Solterra.
Still, it doesn't bode well for Toyota if it wants to put a dent into the EV market dominated by Tesla.
Toyota was positioned to become dominant in the EV segment after playing the long game, but will this shake buyer confidence in its efforts?