Toyota restarts output of first EV after resolving safety issues

Japan auto giant aims to compete with rivals after recall of bZ4X crossover

TOKYO, Oct 07 (Nikkei) - Toyota Motor said it would restart production of its first electric vehicle, the bZ4X, on Thursday after fixing potential safety problems that had halted sales of the new battery-powered model for more than three months.

Japan's largest automaker, a laggard in the EV market, recalled 2,700 bZ4Xs globally in June after discovering that there was a risk the car's wheels could come loose.

Subaru, a fifth owned by Toyota, also had to recall units of the related Solterra model that it jointly developed with Toyota.

A recall notice submitted to Japan's transport ministry by Toyota in June said that sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, raising the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle.

The automaker on Thursday said in a filing to the ministry that it would make sure hub bolts were replaced and properly tightened in new versions of the bZ4X. ...continue reading