Toyota Resumes bZ4X EV Production After Embarrassing Recall

The backside of a 2023 Toyota bZ4X
Toyota

In June of 2022, Toyota issued an emergency recall for its bZ4X all-electric SUV. The carmaker warned that the bZ4X’s wheels could detach while driving. Now, Toyota says that the problem is resolved. Sales of the bZ4X are still paused in the United States, but production is resumed.

This recall, which also affected the jointly-developed Subaru Solterra, took three excruciating months to resolve. And Toyota hasn’t really explained why. Based on the automaker’s original statement, it seems that an oversight in production led to some sort of defect in the bZ4X’s hub assembly. Hub bolts aren’t supposed to “loosen” after “low-mileage use.”

Still, Toyota is sharing one extra nugget of information. As reported by Reuters, Toyota realized that some bZ4X airbags were installed “incorrectly” after issuing its recall. The airbag problem is also resolved, though it was not previously disclosed by the automaker.

We haven’t seen any reports of injuries related to these problems. And, of course, there were only 2,700 bZ4X EVs on the road when Toyota issued its recall (and a good number of those vehicles were on lease). This may be a minor setback for Toyota, similar to EV recalls issued by Ford and Tesla.

But Toyota doesn’t need any setbacks right now. Sure, we’re talking about the king of hybrid cars, but Toyota has spent the last decade fighting against battery-powered EVs. The bZ4X is Toyota’s first true electric car, and right out the gate, it encountered a three-month production delay due to a very avoidable problem. Rival companies made waves during those three months.

There’s no word on when Toyota bZ4X sales will resume in the United States. But customers in Japan can lease the vehicle again—maybe Toyota is taking things one step at a time.

Source: Toyota via Reuters