Intelasia East Asia News – Toyota expects to boost sales of first electric vehicle after sources recall

Toyota Motor Corp plans to resume sales of its first mass-produced electric vehicle, two people familiar with the matter said Thursday, after the automaker fixed a defect that prompted an embarrassing recall of the new bZ4X.

Toyota, a relative laggard in the electric vehicle market, recalled 2,700 bZ4X sport utility vehicles worldwide in June, less than two months after the model was launched, due to the wheel issue. The recall had frozen deliveries of the car while Toyota engineers worked to remedy the defect.

The automaker will submit measures to resolve the issue to Japan’s transport ministry on Thursday, the sources said, declining to be identified because the information has not been made public.

A Toyota spokesperson declined to comment.

Subaru Corp (7270.T) was also forced to recall its first all-electric vehicle, the Solterra, for the same wheel issue. The two electric vehicles were jointly developed and share the same architecture.

The recall had effectively halted the launch of the Solterra in the US market.

Toyota has faced criticism from some environmental groups and investors who want the company to move faster to adopt battery-electric vehicles.

Last year, the Japanese automaker committed about $30 billion to developing battery-electric vehicles. It expects the company’s annual sales of these cars to reach just 3.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade, about a third of its current annual sales of gasoline-powered cars.

Toyota said at the time of the recall that sharp turns and hard braking could cause a hub bolt in the electric vehicle to loosen, increasing the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle.

Category: Japan

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