back to article Toyota, Subaru recall EVs because tires might literally fall off

Toyota and Subaru are recalling several thousand electric vehicles that might spontaneously shed tires due to self-loosening hub bolts.  Toyota issued the recall last week for 2023 bZ4X all-electric SUVs, 2,700 of which are affected, the automaker said. Subaru is recalling all-electric Solterras, which were developed jointly …

  1. Binraider Silver badge

    Toyota have ruined Subaru. Toyota, given a choice between a 1p and 2p part will take the 1p version every time regardless of QC implications.

    To say nothing of the lack of engine development they really have called behind on all fronts.

    I've owned a scoob of various models for the last 15 years but I think this is the last one for me. Minor problem of working out what I want next.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Tough to say without knowing what your needs and driving style are

      I have been in a Kia Niro PHEV for the last few years. It's a type of car that Subaru has been refusing to sell in the US, a small light(ish) hatchback with good gas mileage and short range battery. 500 miles on a tank of gas, 25 on battery. It's a good road trip car, but if it's more than two people you will all need to pack like if you are used to a larger ride legacy wagon or someting Foz sized or larger. Bummer for the earlier Niros is that they use once "standard" 240v level 2 charge plugs that aren't supported on any of the thousands of fast DC charge points they are building. Mines a hybrid, so I can just put gas in it on longer trips, but that extra 25 miles on battery can make a bigger dent on the overall MPG then you might think.

      I'd rather have the Subaru version of the same car if they made one with AWD and slightly better ground clearance, and trade off in spending a few more bucks and maybe eat a small MPG hit for the AWD. Also the Subies have traditionally been built tougher, the build quality of the Niro is fine but it can't take the same kind of beating.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Subaru's boxer engines have never been particularly reliable, particularly in turbo form. It's not a question of if but when their headgaskets fail. Also, simple maintenance jobs like changing the spark plugs are a pain.

      Toyota plus Lexus, on the other hand, continue to be the paragon of reliability, mainly due to the tried and tested Toyota Production System that's been successfully replicated worldwide in countless industries.

      1. Binraider Silver badge

        The older H6 engine (Porsche-derived) was excellent, if fuel thirsty. Not available on UK sales anymore of course.

        Subaru (at Toyota's order) have swapped all gearboxes for torque-sapping CVT's. The engines currently on sale are the old-as-the-hills 2 and 2.5 litre turbo units, which, although not bad in their day, have not nearly advanced anywhere near as much as the competition, and aren't a good match to the CVT losing all of the agricultural grunt that defined earlier models. I have had plenty of problems with the software on the current Outback too - never a problem on the previous gen Legacy for me.

        A comparably priced 4-pot petrol Audi A4 offers better performance, comparable drivetrain and significantly better fuel economy than say, an Outback or the hybrid Forester. Servicing costs are of course what they are; but parts availability is significantly higher. (In fact, parts are why I ditched the Legacy - it had got to the point where I had to import from Japan). Off road ability remains the only differentiator; though the clearances aren't really that good on any of the current lineup. Even the forester has pretty poor ground clearance with those big plastic lumps on the bottom edge...

        The Solterra is too new to pass judgement on, but as an all-EV it will have all the foibles of EV ownership regardless of what else it does. It's also pretty steep at ~£50k. It's not suitable for my requirements as long as the charging network is, at best, dubious.

        And the lineup has been slashed to just 4 models. The levorg was an abject failure with a terrible engine mated to a CVT & questionable value. I don't think more than 2000 have been sold and the model has been dropped entirely.

        So, as a long-time fan and owner, I will re-iterate that Toyota have set about ruining Subaru UK. The weak sales figures say it all (not withstanding COVID interruptions - they were poor in 2019).

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          all gearboxes for torque-sapping CVT's

          It still provides sufficient torque to ensure my C-HR can beat most of the boy racers away from the lights..

        2. skswales

          I was sad to say goodbye to my 18yo H6 Outback

          1. Binraider Silver badge

            A new H6 3.0 or 3.6 Legacy (as available in the US) would be an immediate order if they were willing to do them in the UK. Combine the fat petrol with a hybrid system if you must; the extra torques would be amazing.

            As things are I'm off looking at boring predictable German choices for time being.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Couldn't agree more on the H6 - it's bulletproof and drives really well. My 15 year old Legacy 3.0R still goes like the day it was bought - absolutely everything on the car still works. The only work it's seen in its entire life outside of routine maintenance (brakes/tyres/filters/fluids) was replacing the front shocks. Ironically those were made in Germany.

          The old naturally aspirated EJ20 and EJ22 were pretty robust engines also.

  2. Hero Protagonist
    Facepalm

    Obligatory pedantry

    It’s the *wheels* that are in danger of falling off, not the tires. (Or strictly speaking, not just the tires – the wheels+tires as a unit. Heading off any pedantry of my pedantry….)

    1. Commswonk

      Re: Obligatory pedantry

      Heading off any pedantry of my pedantry

      That's what you think...

      Whatever is the root cause of this problem it couldn't affect UK models because they (we!) have tyres, not tires.

      1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

        Re: Obligatory pedantry

        And either way - since the recall is for hub bolts and not wheel nuts, it looks as if the whole hub is coming off. The wheel and tyre are mere courtesy details.

        1. spireite Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Obligatory pedantry

          Must be a rough ride... must hubs I see are square....

          I assume that if this is after short mileage, it'll be after 100, not 1000

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Obligatory pedantry

            <sigh>

            That's only by British sensibilities.

            As they say, in the US 100 years is a long time, in Britain 100 miles is a long distance.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Obligatory pedantry

          Without knowing the details, it seems crazy that a long-running experienced car company could screw up something so fundamental. The problem of hubs coming loose is well understood and was solved decades ago. The acceptable failure rate for parts like this should be zero.

          They seem to be penny-pinching to the extent of trying to find a cheaper way of securing the hub than the traditional castellated nut and split-pin, which itself probably only costs a fraction of penny per vehicle. Have we really got to the point where every single part on a car is balancing on a knife edge between cost and quality?

    2. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: Obligatory pedantry

      not the tires

      Maybe they tire of not being called tyres..

  3. John Miles

    Reminds me of a guy I worked with

    Many years ago, as he got a recall on his VW Polo because the front wheel may fall off, not through loose nuts but rotted out subframe - trouble is he got this a week after it fell off at a junction. Not the brightest spark as he only got it moved after the police prosecuted him for failing to move it for several days

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too literal

    I tend to by a vehicle and drive it till the wheels come off. I was expecting that to work out differently,

  5. Notas Badoff

    "As it's only been out for two months, a bZ4X recall this early could be bad news for the auto maker."

    No, no, they've simply adopted the "fail early" paradigm. Recalling n K units is lots better than recalling nnn K . Agile manufacturing at its best!

    1. ecofeco Silver badge
      Coat

      Quality control is for LOSERS!

      See icon if in doubt of context.----------->>

  6. Conundrum1885

    Three wheels on my

    Renault.

    I believe this meme originated with a certain infamous "Formula One" race where someone in the pits forgot to tighten some wheel nuts after a change.

    The expected transpired, and the wheel went bouncing off down the track leaving the poor driver in a mess.

    Needless to say, the team lost that particular race.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Three wheels on my

      Needless to say, the team lost that particular race.

      Needless to say, the car was also clocked the fastest on three wheels/tires/tyres.

      Half a win?

      1. JimPoak
        Unhappy

        Re: Three wheels on my

        Aw Nuts.

        It's a good thing they don't make people like they make cars or we all be in trouble.

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