Toyota Offering to Buy Back Electric Vehicles After Issuing Startling Warning to Stop Driving SUV Immediately
In June, Toyota warned buyers of its bZ4X electric SUV not to drive their vehicles for fear the wheels could fall off. Toyota said at the time the cause was a mystery, but it would look into the glitch.
Toyota has not yet found a solution to the problem and is offering to buy back the SUV from its owners, according to CNN.
“We know that our customers have many choices when it comes to purchasing a vehicle. We appreciate their loyalty and are supporting them through this recall,” Toyota said in a statement, according to The Verge. “However, if a customer does not want to proceed with the provided options, we will offer to repurchase their bZ4X.”
Plan B for owners who want to keep a vehicle they may never be able to drive is to have free use of another Toyota vehicle until such time as Toyota figures out what went wrong and how to fix it.
Toyota offers to buy back recalled bZ4X fully electric SUV from customers | A headline writer’s dream. Toyota’s first full #EV recalled and a buyback offer literally because the wheels keep falling off! How can a car maker get something so basic, so wrong? https://t.co/lDJo4u43Zr pic.twitter.com/n9lcYPTgIo
— Martyn Dews (@Yorkie71) August 8, 2022
As part of that deal, Toyota will pay $5,000 toward an owner’s car payments or as a partial refund. Toyota also said that it will extend the factory warranty on the bZ4X by whatever length of time it becomes before an owner gets her or his vehicle back, according to CNN.
The offer for those who do not sell their vehicle back also includes free EV charging once the owners get the vehicle back and the cost of gasoline for their loaner, according to Autoweek.
It was unclear in the announcement how owners of the vehicle, whose price starts at $43,215, would handle dealer markups, according to Car and Driver.
In June, the company announced that all 2,700 of its new electric bZ4X SUVs were a danger to their drivers, with only 260 to date having been delivered in the United States.
“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,” Toyota said in a June 23 statement on its website.
“If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash,” the company said. “The cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation. No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed,” Toyota said.
“No remedy is available at this time,” Toyota said in its June release.
Toyota’s somehow gone from “The best built cars in the world” to “The hub bolts loosen which may cause a wheel to fall off, & almost two months later we don’t know how to fix it”https://t.co/wOJjNc44pW
— Thomas McGuire (@thommcg1980) August 7, 2022
In a column for Bloomberg, Anjani Trivedi, who covers industrial companies in Asia, wrote, “If that’s the level of quality and safety traditional auto giants are willing to commit to, then investors and regulators should increase their scrutiny.”
The bZ4X debuted in Japan in June, according to CNBC.
The company’s president, Akio Toyoda, said in December that Toyota planned “to roll out 30 BEV models by 2030.”
“Toyota has been under pressure to up its game in EVs, so will be very disappointed that a recall has been necessary on its first mass-market electric cars,” David Leggett, automotive editor at GlobalData, told CNBC.
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