Toyota Willing to Buy Back Recalled bZ4X Models

·3 min read
Photo credit: Toyota
Photo credit: Toyota
  • Toyota's bZ4X and Subaru's Solterra were recalled in June for loosening wheel hub bolts, with the manufacturers urging owners to stop driving the models due to a risk that the wheels could fall off.

  • A solution has yet to be presented by either manufacturer, leading Toyota USA to offer loaner vehicles and $5000 credit or a complete buyback to current owners.

  • Between Toyota and Subaru, around 5300 units of the first all-electric offering from each company are up for recall, creating a major hit to each company's electrification plans.

Shortly after its spring release, Toyota issued an urgent recall for its new bZ4X EV SUV, asking owners to immediately stop driving the model. This wasn't just a precaution on Toyota's part, seeing as the recall focused on the very real possibility for the wheels to fall off. An improperly designed wheel hub and accompanying hub bolts are prone to loosening, resulting in 2700 of the 2023 model year units being recalled in late June. As of today, there is no solution, leading Toyota to offer owners a choice between a credit program or a complete buyback.

In a letter posted to Reddit by a current bZ4X owner, Toyota USA will offer owners one of two options to remedy the issue. One solution involves a loaner vehicle, $5000 in loan payment or cash credit, gas reimbursement, and free EV charging through 2024, and an extended warranty amounting to the time from the start of the recall to the time a remedy is announced. Alternatively, Toyota is offering to buy back the car completely. The buybacks will vary per person due to state financial regulations but will likely be a paid-in-full buyback for owners.

Photo credit: Subaru
Photo credit: Subaru

Toyota representatives have confirmed the authenticity of the letter to Autoweek. The remedies that Toyota has offered to owners will remain available until the recall fix is established, though Toyota has not yet provided a timeline for the fix. Subaru's sibling model, the Solterra, is subject to the recall as well, though Subaru has yet to issue any remedies or compensation directives. Both the bZ4X and Solterra are assembled at Toyota's Motomachi Assembly Plant in Japan.

Either way, Toyota is in for an expensive chapter, as online forums show owners complaining that a $5000 credit isn't enough and prospective buyers canceling orders. A catastrophic mechanical recall like this not only costs the company money but the trust of consumers. In this case of the bZ4X, these are consumers who were willing to make the jump to an EV and an all-new one at that.

This news follows the recall of over 75,000 Toyota Tacomas for a failing weld on the child seat anchor. Toyota expects a solution for the Tacoma models by September, and it is unlikely these trucks will be eligible for any buyback from Toyota. Some Toyota Tundras from the 2022 model year have also been recalled due to a loosening rear axle assembly, with 46,000 models affected. Tundra owners have it easier, seeing as the problem part can simply be inspected and replaced at a Toyota dealership.