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Toyota recalls its first mass-produced electric cars less than two months after its launch

The all-electric 2023 Toyota bZ4X is shown during the 2021 Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, US November 17, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Blake

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TOKYO, June 23 (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corporation (7203.T) On Thursday, it said it would recall 2,700 of its first mass-produced electric cars for the global market due to the risk that the wheels could explode.

The world’s largest automaker by sales has submitted a recall of bZ4X SUVs to Japan’s Ministry of Transportation. Of the 2,700 vehicles, the company said, 2,200 were earmarked for Europe, 260 for the United States, 10 for Canada and 110 for Japan.

Subaru Corporation (7270.) It also said Thursday that it is recalling globally about 2,600 units of the Solterra, the first all-electric vehicle jointly developed with Toyota, for the same reason.

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The Japanese safety regulator said sharp turns and sudden braking could cause the axle bolt to loosen, increasing the risk of a wheel slipping off the vehicle. She added that she was not aware of any accidents caused by the defect.

The regulator advised motorists to stop using the vehicle until a “permanent” repair measure was taken.

Spokesmen for the automakers said that all the cars recalled in Japan have yet to be delivered to customers as they were intended for test drives and demonstration.

“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter has caused you,” Toyota said on its website. We would have fixed it ASAP, but we are investigating the details.”

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A Toyota spokesperson said the recall was not subject to every model, but declined to say how many models it made overall.

Most of the vehicles were for dealers and none were delivered to customers in the United States, a Subaru spokesperson said.

The recall comes less than two months after Toyota, a relative newcomer to the electric car market, introduced its electric SUV, the bZ4X, to the domestic market, albeit only as a rental option.

Toyota’s lease offering unit, KINTO, has canceled planned drive-test promotional events in three Japanese cities for safety measures.

Toyota has been criticized by some investors and environmental organizations for not acting fast enough to phase out gasoline cars and adopt electric vehicles instead.

The company has repeatedly countered criticism, arguing that a variety of engines must be offered to suit different markets and customers.

Gasoline-electric hybrids are still more popular in Toyota’s domestic market than electric cars, which accounted for just 1% of passenger cars sold in Japan last year, based on industry data.

However, the market is growing rapidly and foreign automakers including Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) They are making clear inroads on the streets of cities like Tokyo.

(This story corrects the number of vehicles for recall in Canada in the second paragraph to 10, not 20, after Toyota corrected the number)

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(Covering) Written by Satoshi Sugiyama and Maki Shiraki Editing by Jane Merriman and Bernadette Baum

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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