Toyota has issued a global recall of its 2023 bZ4X electric crossover SUV less than two months after the vehicle was released. The automaker said the hub bolts on the wheel could loosen while driving, causing the entire wheel to come loose. Of course, Toyota is warning owners not to drive their vehicles until the problem is resolved.
The recall represents a setback for the world’s largest automaker, which has pledged to spend $17.6 billion to roll out 30 battery-electric models by 2030. The bZ4X, which began delivery to customers less than two months ago, is seen as the pinnacle of Toyota’s belated move to switch to electric vehicles.
Toyota says the cause of the loose wheel bolts is still under investigation. Customers are advised to notify their local authorized Toyota dealer who will collect the bZ4X for service and provide a loaner unit free of charge.
Of the 2,700 vehicles recalled, 2,200 were destined for Europe, 280 for North America, 110 for Japan and 60 for the rest of Asia. Most vehicles have not been delivered to the consumer.
The bZ4X is the latest EV to get a recall, though it appears to be one of the most serious by comparison. Ford issued a recall for 49,000 Mustang Mach-E SUVs last week, but insisted the issue could be resolved via an over-the-air software update. Other EVs have also been recalled due to various software bugs and other minor issues.
The recall comes at a time when demand for electric vehicles is steadily increasing, thanks to rising gas prices and a growing number of models for sale. Tesla continues to dominate the market, but older automakers are gaining ground with the introduction of mid-range crossovers and luxury vehicles. Prices are also rising thanks to inflation, high demand and the rising cost of important materials, such as the minerals that make up lithium-ion batteries.