Toyota offers to buy back bZ4X electric SUVs whose wheels could fall off


Toyota didn’t know why this was happening, but the automaker said it would investigate and fix the problem once engineers figured out why the wheels were coming loose. Now, more than a month later, Toyota has yet to identify the problem and is offering to simply repurchase the SUVs from customers who no longer want to wait for the problem to be fixed.

Because the problem became apparent soon after the SUVs went on sale, there are only about 260 BZ4X owners in the United States facing this situation. There are others who had ordered the SUV but hadn’t yet delivered it when the « Don’t Drive » warning was announced. These customers were never able to accept delivery of their SUVs.

The automaker offered a number of options beyond buyout while asking owners for their patience. Toyota also offers customers the free use of another Toyota vehicle until the problem is found and corrected. Toyota is also offering owners $5,000 toward car payment or a partial refund of the purchase price. Toyota will also extend the vehicles factory warranty for whatever time the SUVs have been out of service.

For customers who simply wish to resell their vehicles, the exact terms of the buy-back may vary depending on various national regulations and the specifics of the owner’s situation.

The BZ4X is almost identical to the Subaru Solterra electric SUV. The two Japanese automakers developed the vehicles jointly. Subaru did not have to recall any SUVs in the United States, however, as none had been delivered before the problem was discovered.

Toyota is not the first automaker to recall electric vehicles in recent years. General Motors offered to repurchase Chevrolet Bolt EVs following reports of battery fires. This case potentially involved many more vehicles than the parent of a handful of BZ4Xs, but Bolt owners were able to, at least, continue to use their vehicles with some restrictions. GM has finally discovered the source of the problem and is now able to replace the batteries of vehicles that needed it. GM did not say how many customers took advantage of the buyout offer.

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