Toyota finally found a way to keep wheels from falling off its electric SUV

Toyota finally found a way to keep wheels from falling off its electric SUV

CNN —

Last June, Toyota warned owners of its first mainstream electric vehicle, the BZ4X, to stop driving their SUVs and have them shipped to dealerships over a scary problem: the wheels could fall off after just a few miles.

Now, more than three months later, Toyota has announced that it has finally figured out what was causing the problem and that it has a solution.

Toyota's crossover electric SUV BZR4X

A supplier that made wheels for the SUV didn’t make them exactly to Toyota’s specifications, Toyota spokesman Aaron Fowles said. There was also a separate issue with hub bolts securing the wheel to the axle, he said. These parts allowed the wheels to come off while driving the SUV.

To fix the problem, Toyota will fit new wheels, which attach with new bolts that also have washers to hold them in place. These new wheels, nuts and washers are sent to Toyota dealers who will install them free of charge. Toyota said in an announcement it hopes to have the new wheels on customers’ SUVs by November.

Since the problem was discovered shortly after the SUV went on sale, it never spread widely. Only 260 BZ4X were delivered to customers before the recall was announced. The Subaru Solterra, which was developed in conjunction with Toyota and is very similar to the BZ4X, was unaffected as Subaru hadn’t shipped any to customers before the problem was discovered.

In early August, Toyota said it had begun working with some customers to buy back the SUVs they bought but couldn’t drive. The company is offering customers free use of another Toyota vehicle until the problem is resolved. Toyota also offered owners $5,000 towards their car payments or as a partial refund of the purchase price. Toyota is extending the vehicles’ factory warranty by the time the SUVs have been taken out of service.