Toyota bZ4X production to resume after fixing loose wheel recall, new airbag issue

Credit: Toyota

Toyota Motor Corp. noted on Thursday that it would be resuming the production of its all-electric crossover and Model Y fighter, the bZ4X. The Japanese automaker revealed that it had found a resolution for the vehicles’ safety issues, which have caused the bZ4X’s sales to be suspended for more than three months.

Toyota recalled about 2,700 bZ4X units in June after learning that the vehicle’s wheels may come off while it’s operating on the road. A recall notice sent to Japan’s transport ministry indicated that sharp turns and sudden braking in the bZ4X might cause a hub bolt to loosen, raising the danger of a wheel falling off.

So notable were the safety issues of the bZ4X that Toyota asked owners of the all-electric crossover to stop driving their cars until a resolution to the recall could be found. Eventually, bZ4X owners in the United States shared communication from Toyota, which indicated that the company was already open to the idea of repurchasing the vehicle.  

The bZ4X’s sister unit, the Subaru Solterra, was also recalled for the same issue. However, the problem was not too notable for Subaru as deliveries of the Solterra were yet to begin. Toyota, on the other hand, had already delivered the bZ4X to customers in several countries before the vehicle’s safety issues were discovered. 

As noted in an Autoblog report, a filing from Toyota stated that the company would make sure hub bolts on the bZ4X were replaced and properly tightened moving forward. Interestingly enough, Toyota also revealed that it had actually identified another safety issue in the bZ4X — this time with the vehicle’s airbags. 

Since some airbags were not properly installed at the factory, the bZ4X’s airbag units risk failure. They may also result in injuries due to the placement of a strap inside the airbag assembly. This issue has not been disclosed by the Japanese automaker previously, though Chief Technology Officer Masahiko Maeda noted that the company had been aware of the bZ4X’s airbag problems in the last month or so. 

“We apologize again for the concern, anxiety, and inconvenience we have caused to our customers, our dealers, and our stakeholders,” Maeda said. 

With the bZ4X now restarting production, customers in Japan can lease the vehicle again starting October 26, 2022. It should be noted that the bZ4X is only available for lease in Japan. Maeda, however, did not indicate when sales of the Model Y fighter in territories such as the United States would be resuming. 

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Toyota bZ4X production to resume after fixing loose wheel recall, new airbag issue
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