June 25 (UPI) — Toyota has recalled more than 2,000 all-electric SUVs over problems that could cause the wheels or axles to fall off.
The Japanese company said the issue is with nuts or bolts on the bZ4X, which recently went on sale in the United States. The recall involves some 2,700 vehicles sold in North America, Europe and Asia.
Toyota announced the recall Thursday.
“After low-mileage use, all of the hub bolts on the wheel of the subject vehicles can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle,” a spokesperson said in a statement to CNBC.
“If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.”
Toyota instructed bZ4X owners to immediately stop driving the vehicles.
While the company doesn’t know how to fix the problem yet, dealers are picking up the vehicles from the customers and giving them free loaners in the meantime, CNN reported.
The bZ4X is Toyota’s first widely available, all-electric vehicle that was designed as a battery electric vehicle from the outset and not a conversion from gas. It has an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated range of up to 252 miles per charge for XLE front-wheel drive models. It retails for approximately $42,000.
The cause of the wheel and axle problem was under investigation.
“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.
“On the plus side, though, the recall is an early one in the model lifecycle and on a mechanical part that is nothing to do with the car’s electric powertrain.”
Toyota has also recalled some 46,000 2022 Toyota Tundra pickup trucks for nuts on the rear axle that can loosen. This can cause the axle sub-assembly to disconnect.