Subaru of America has been forced to recall the electric Solterra once again after an earlier recall failed to fix an issue with the wheel-hub bolts.
A recall last June warned owners the wheel-hub bolts were faulty and, in a worst-case scenario, could lead to the wheels falling off the vehicle. This recall also affected the related Toyota bZ4X.
At the time of the recall, Subaru reportedly had not delivered any models within the US and therefore rectified the issue prior to delivery.
It’s now emerged a third party that Subaru used to rectify the issue didn’t properly complete the repair procedure which can result in significantly under-torqued bolts.
Subaru said the recall affects 1182 models and cautioned drivers not to drive their vehicle until Subaru retailers can inspect the hub bolts and, if required, retorque to the correct specification.
The rectification will come at no cost to the customer and Subaru is offering to pay for a tow truck where necessary for customers to have their vehicles inspected.
The Solterra has yet to arrive in Australia.
Subaru Australia had originally planned to launch the Solterra in the first half of this year, but confirmed last year it had been delayed to mid-year. It’s now saying it will arrive in the second half of 2023, but hasn’t cited overseas recalls as the reason for the delays.
“Subaru Australia looks forward to launching the Subaru Solterra in the second half of 2023. With global, industry-wide supply constraints and strong demand for Subaru vehicles, at times there may be a slight adjustment to the arrival times of new products, as experienced with the Solterra,” said a spokesperson for Subaru Australia.
Reuters reported in June 2022 that Toyota had grounded the entire bZ4X and Solterra fleet until it was able to provide a solution to customers.
Toyota confirmed 2700 bZ4X models and 2600 Solterras were affected globally.
By August 2022, the Japanese carmarker still had no solution for its customers.
Toyota did however communicate that it was working on a solution. In the US, it offered affected customers either a free loan vehicle and storage, reimbursed fuel costs, extended complimentary charging until the end of 2024, an extended warranty, or a credit of US$5000.
However, if none of the above options suited an owner, Toyota USA was also offering to repurchase the vehicle.
In October 2022, Toyota and Subaru resumed production of the bZ4X and Solterra after the companies claimed to have found a way to rectify the issue.
The bZ4X and Solterra are the first models to use the new e-TNGA electric vehicle architecture, also marketed by Subaru as the E-Subaru Global Platform.
Toyota Australia announced this month it has delayed the bZ4X to the fourth quarter of 2023 “to be able to secure supply and the latest spec”. It was originally set to launch late in 2022.