If you’re looking to test drive or buy a Toyota bZ4X soon, you might want to hold off. Well, technically, you likely have to hold off. Today, Toyota issued a recall notice and stated that all bZ4Xs under that recall should not be driven. The wheels could literally fall off during tight turns or hard braking due to an issue with the lug bolts that attach the wheel to the hub. Yes, this issue also affects the Toyota’s EV cousin, the Subaru Solterra.
When you read about the recall from Toyota or other sources, they all keep referencing the hub bolts. If you’re familiar with cars and their parts here in the U.S., you’ll be forgiven to think they are talking about the bolts that attach the hub to the steering knuckle. What they are referencing instead is what are typically called “lug bolts,” which attach the wheel to the hub assembly just like you’ll find on the GR Supra, Lexus IS, and myriad European cars.
When those lug bolts (or hub bolts, if you’re more inclined to call them that) fail, it’s just like a wheel stud failing: The wheel is no longer held to the vehicle and literally falls off; bad things result, such as crashing. Toyota states that these failures are happening under tight turns and hard braking, but also states that until a permanent fix is found, these affected bZ4Xs should not be driven. While Subaru hasn’t stated anything about the Solterra here in the U.S., it has acknowledged that it is an issue to Reuters and that the recalled Solterras bound for our shores are dealer demos and none are to be or have been sold to any customer.
Toyota says that, of the 2,700 bZ4Xs built at the Japanese plant among the production batch being recalled, only 260 are bound for the U.S. and 20 are bound for Canada. The rest were set for Europe (2,200) and Japan (110). Subaru has stated that 2,600 Solterras are affected, but doesn’t provide a breakdown of where they were or are to be sold, only stating that none of them were bound for any waiting customers. We’ve asked Subaru for further information, but have yet to have a response by them at time of publication. We also reached out to the NHTSA and stated that they have received the notice of the recall by Toyota and will publish it on their site “soon.”
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