Toyota USA has offered to buy back examples of its new electric SUV, the bZ4X, should customers wish to get the grounded car off their hands.
This follows a recent global recall of the bZ4X and its Subaru Solterra twin, attributed to faulty wheel hub bolts that could cause the wheels to fall off.
Toyota has since sent a letter to affected bZ4X owners in the US, offering them a number of options – including a full buyback of the car should they wish to dust their hands of it.
This letter from Toyota USA was reported by Electrek, and says that affected owners still shouldn’t drive their vehicle because there is still no remedy to fix the issue as yet.
Toyota is offering affected owners the following until a fix becomes available:
- Provide a loan vehicle and store the affected bZ4X at no cost
- Reimburse any fuel costs incurred while operating the loan vehicle
- Provide a credit of $5000 towards payments of their loan/lease or purchase price
- Extend the bZ4X’s complimentary charging at all public stations owned and operated by EVgo in the US until the end of 2024
- Extend the bZ4X’s warranty to cover the period when it cannot be safely driven due to the recall (from June 23, 2022, through to the date when the remedy is announced)
However, if none of the above options suit an owner, Toyota USA is also offering to repurchase the vehicle.
“The terms for the repurchase may vary, depending on your state and particular circumstances,” said Toyota USA in the letter.
The Japanese automaker said there’s a “bZ4X specialist” available to help affected owners “discuss these options”.
Although the recall also effects the Subaru Solterra, the Toyota bZ4X’s sister car, no Solterras have reportedly been delivered to US customers yet.
As reported in late June 2022, the Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra twins have been recalled globally due to an issue with their wheel hub bolts, which in the worst case scenario could cause the wheels to fall off.
A recall notice issued by the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism on June 23 advices “the bolt can loosen due to repeated sharp turns and sudden braking”.
The Ministry is warning owners to stop driving their vehicles, and “take permanent measures as soon as the measures are decided”.
Likewise, a recall notice issued by Toyota in the US on June 23 says “after low-mileage use, all of the hub bolts on the wheel can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle”.
The Japanese automaker also notes that “no remedy is available at this time”, and “until the remedy is available, any authorised Toyota dealer will pick up the vehicle and provide a loaner vehicle free of charge to the owner”.
Reuters reports the recall affects 2700 bZ4X models and 2600 Solterras globally.
The problem was reportedly discovered after people in the US had driven the cars, though it’s unclear if there have been any accidents.
A source told Reuters one car with the issue had been driven particularly hard.
The Toyota bZ4X and Subaru Solterra are the first models to use the new e-TNGA electric vehicle architecture, also marketed by Subaru as the E-Subaru Global Platform.
Though Toyota made electric versions of two generations of RAV4 available for lease in select markets, and introduced an electric C-HR in China in 2020, the bZ4X is its first ground-up electric vehicle.
The company revealed a slate of 16 Toyota and Lexus-branded electric vehicles last December, announcing it would offer 30 electric model globally by 2030 in passenger and commercial segments.