Toyota recalls nearly 3,000 bZ4X EVs over potentially deadly wheel defect

The motor hubs keep coming loose and falling off, which is generally not what you want from a vehicle.

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images

Toyota's US launch of the unpronounceable bZ4X EV is off to a rough start with the automaker announcing on Thursday a broad recall of the vehicle barely two months after its debut, due to a potentially deadly situation that could lead to the vehicle's wheels separating while driving at speed.

Some 2,700 of the electric crossovers are subject to the recall — 2,000 destined for the European market, 260 to the US, 110 to Japan and 20 to Canada. The company implores owners to park their vehicles immediately and not resume driving them until a more "permanent" solution can be devised.

"No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed," Toyota said in the Thursday notice. "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. 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 cause of the issue and the driving patterns under which this issue could occur are still under investigation."

Subaru has issued a similar recall for about 2,600 Solterra EVs. These EVs are functionally identical to the bZ4X and are produced on the same lines at Toyota's Motomachi facility. There's no word yet on when Toyota engineers might have a solution for the issue.