Soon both the Toyota bZ4X and the Subaru Solterra will return from the limbo in which they were, they will begin to be seen circulating and on the sales lists. Both electric SUVs had been recalled for a trivial problem to solve: the screws that fasten the tires could end up loosening during sudden braking with the steering turned.
And since safety comes first, all manufactured units had to be called for a review, deliveries stopped, and the few customers who already had their cars asked not to drive them. At least in the United States, Toyota has even offered to refund or compensate its customers in multiple ways while waiting for a solution.
The manufacturer has resumed production of the electric SUV in Japan this morning (early morning in Spain). We do not have details of what has been the solution to the problem, only that they have changed the screws and that they will ensure that the tightening torque is correct. In theory, this should be an easy-fix issue, but there is some opacity when it comes to reporting this from Toyota.
We have also learned that another potential problem with the curtain airbags has been discovered regarding their factory installation, but that has also been fixed. Possibly, this potential problem has been more important than the screws when relaunching these cars on the market.
The relaunch will give priority to all those who were waiting to have their car, which is otherwise obvious. 2,700 units of the Toyota bZ4X were recalled, divided into 2,200 for the European market (undelivered), 260 for the US (some delivered), 20 for Canada, and 110 for the Japanese domestic market (in this case, leased from Kinto). Many other Subaru Solterra had the same problem, affecting around 5,000 units worldwide.
Toyota has prevented anything from happening to its customers, but its brand new debut of the year has been overshadowed and with a certain aura of a fiasco. Now it’s time to regain credibility and leave behind that fame that is being built as a skeptic of electric cars. Toyota is missing from the sales charts unless RAV4 plug-in hybrids are counted, and it’s not among the top either.