Toyota has offered a range of make-goods to hundreds of owners of the new 2023 bZ4X – including an offer to buy back the electric compact crossover – as compensation for asking them to stop driving the recalled vehicle over concerns that the wheels will fall off could .
The Japanese-built bZ4X went on sale in the US in late spring as Toyota’s first electric vehicle since the RAV4 EV built in 2014 in partnership with Tesla. However, just a few weeks after the launch, Toyota issued a sales stop and recall notice. Japan’s safety agency said sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, increasing the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle.
An estimated 260 of the vehicles were in the United States and no remedy has yet been found to allow the vehicles to be safely driven again, Toyota said. Consumers were asked to contact their dealer immediately, who would collect the vehicle and provide a loaner car free of charge.
In a letter to affected consumers late last month, first reported by electrek.com, the automaker says it “acknowledges the inconvenience this situation is causing.”
Toyota said it is offering the following to affected customers until a fix is available:
• Free bZ4X loan and storage
• Reimbursement of any fuel costs incurred during the operation of the rental vehicle
• Granting a total credit of $5,000 to pay the loan/lease or purchase price when the vehicle is paid for in full
• Extension of free charging of the bZ4X at all public stations owned and operated by EVgo nationwide by the end of 2024
• Extension of the bZ4X warranty to cover the period when it is unsafe to drive due to the recall (from the June 23, 2022 Recall Announcement Date to the Corrective Action Announcement Date)
The company said buyers have another option: Toyota will offer to buy the vehicle back if the consumer requests it, but warned that “buyback terms may vary depending on condition and specific circumstances.”
The automaker said it is asking all customers with “unique circumstances” to contact its customer service team at 800-331-4331.
This is Toyota Motor North America’s first major customer satisfaction effort since Jack Hollis succeeded Bob Carter as the automaker’s sales director. A spokesman confirmed that Hollis was involved in developing the make-goods for affected customers.
The 2023 Subaru Solterra, which is built alongside Toyota’s bZ4X in Japan, was also named in the recall and sales halt in June. However, no Solterra has yet been delivered to customers.
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