Japanese automakers Toyota and Subaru announced a recall on their first mass-produced electric vehicles (EVs) Thursday because their wheels could potentially fall off.
Toyota, the world’s largest car seller, said it would be recalling 2,700 of its bZ4X SUVs, 260 of which were reserved for the United States. Subaru also announced a recall the same day on 2,600 of its Solterras, the company’s first all-electric vehicle made in partnership with Toyota, according to a report from Reuters.
“Japan’s safety regulator said sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, raising the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle. It said it was not aware of any accidents being caused by the defect,” Reuters reported.
A spokesperson for Toyota warned, “No one should drive these vehicles until the remedy is performed,” according to CNBC. Japan’s safety regulators also said people should not drive the recalled vehicles until the company figured out a “permanent” repair measure.
“We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this causes you,” Toyota said on its website. “We would have repaired it as soon as possible, but we are investigating the details.”
A Subaru spokesperson said none of its recalled Solterras had been delivered to U.S. customers yet.
The EV recall comes as some Democrats have touted switching from gasoline and diesel-fueled cars to EVs as gas prices hit record highs in recent months. Earlier this month, Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) bragged about avoiding gas prices by driving her EV from Michigan to Washington, D.C.
“I do have to say, on the issue of gas prices, after waiting for a long time to have enough chips in this country to finally get my electric vehicle, I got it and drove it from Michigan to here last weekend, and went by every single gas station. It didn’t matter how high (gas prices) was,” Stabenow said.
“And so I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us to move to vehicles that aren’t going to be dependent on the whims of the oil companies and the international markets,” the senator added.
Biden Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg also pushed for Americans to buy EVs in a March press conference. “Last month we announced a $5 billion investment to build out a nationwide electric vehicle charging network so that people from rural to urban to suburban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV,” Buttigieg said.