Toyota Motor Corp expects to resume selling its first mass-produced electric vehicle, two people familiar with the matter said on Thursday, after the automaker fixed a defect that caused an embarrassing recall of the new bZ4X.
Toyota, a relative latecomer to the EV market, recalled 2,700 bZ4X sports utility vehicles globally in June, less than two months after the model was launched, because of the wheel issue. The recall had frozen car deliveries while Toyota engineers worked to address the defect.
The people said the automaker would submit measures to fix the problem to Japan’s transport ministry on Thursday, declining to be identified as the information has not been made public.
A Toyota spokesperson declined to comment.
Subaru Corp was also forced to recall its first all-electric vehicle, the Solterra, for the same wheel issue. The two EVs were jointly developed and share the same architecture.
The recall had effectively stopped the launch of the Solterra in the U.S. 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 develop battery electric vehicles. It expects the company’s annual sales of such cars to reach only 3.5 million vehicles by the end of the decade, about one-third of the current annual sales of its gasoline-powered vehicles.
Toyota had said at the time of the recall that sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen in the EV, raising the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle.