It seems that Toyota is facing quite a conundrum with its new EV model, the Toyota bZ4X. The reason? There's a risk of the wheels literally falling off the car.
The recall for the Toyota bZ4X was announced at the end of June. Despite having a major issue with keeping the wheels on while driving, it seems to affect only a small batch of the bZ4X – 2,700 units in total.
Toyota caught this early – bZ4X wheels falling off
Shortly after the launch and sales, Toyota was able to identify this issue early on and even notify each bZ4X owner via a letter stating the issue. Although there was no mention of the wheels falling off, Toyota went into detail about what they're willing to offer in terms of compensation (and they're pretty good, too).
You can read the text of the letter below (issued by Toyota Motor Sales USA).
We recently advised you of a safety recall that involves your 2023 Toyota bZ4X and continues to ask that you not allow the vehicle to be driven until a remedy is available. We are working diligently on a remedy and will notify you in the future when it becomes available.
At Toyota, your safety is a top priority. If you have not already done so, please contact any authorized Toyota Dealer and they will arrange to pick up and store your vehicle, at no cost, until the remedy is available. We will also provide a loaner vehicle at no cost to you.
We place a high value on the guest experience and recognize the inconvenience presented by this situation. Therefore, Toyota is offering affected owners the following until the remedy is available:
- Continue to provide a loaner vehicle, and store your vehicle, at no cost
- Reimburse your fueling costs incurred while operating the provided loaner vehicle
- Provide you with a total credit of $5,000 toward payments of your loan/lease or purchase price if the vehicle was paid in full
- Provide additional time for complimentary charging at all EVgo-owned and operated public stations nationwide, through December 31, 2024
- Provide an extension to your vehicle’s New Vehicle Limited Warranty based on the period of time that your vehicle is not able to be driven due to the recall (from the recall announcement date of June 23, 2022 through a date in the future when the remedy is announced.
Alternatively, if you do not wish to proceed as described above, Toyota will offer to repurchase your vehicle. The terms for the repurchase may vary, depending on your state and particular circumstances.
A bZ4X specialist will reach out to you in the coming days to discuss these options. Should you wish to speak with someone sooner, please contact us at 1-800-331-4331 and select option three, between 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Saturday ET.
We sincerely regret any inconvenience this condition may have caused you.
-Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A.
Toyota even offered to buy back the bZ4X
The last part of the letter regarding the bZ4X recall stated a very important aspect of Toyota's commitment to the owner's safety (or a great way to negate any legal issues in the future).
If the new owners of the Toyota bZ4X are not interested in any of the 'incentives' provided by Toyota USA to compensate while they figure out how to solve the issue, they're willing to purchase the car back from the owners.
On a different note, the recall also affects the Subaru Solterra, the Toyota bZ4X's sister car, but luckily for Subaru, no units have been delivered to customers yet.
The issue now with the owners is to wait for Toyota to deal with the problem and enjoy the compensation, or let them buy back the car and look for other EV models in a market that is in high demand with even longer waiting periods.
Possible delay for Malaysian launch?
While UMW Toyota has already committed to bringing EVs into the Malaysian market soon (they've already installed a number of DC fast chargers at their HQ in Shah Alam), we're probably guessing that this issue might delay its official arrival.
The same goes for our neighbouring countries, but 2023 is still within target and hopefully, Toyota can solve this matter soon. For a brand that's known to have 'bulletproof' cars, having the wheels fall off without knowing why is a big no-no and a bigger 'Oh no!'