Toyota has offered to buy back its bZ4X electric cars from owners after it issued a recall for the vehicles over a risk that their wheels might fall off.

The Japanese auto giant first notified customers of the unusual severe wearing of the hub bolts that hold the car’s wheels in place in late June 2022.

“After low-mileage use, all of the hub bolts on the wheel can loosen to the point where the wheel can detach from the vehicle,” the company warned.

“If a wheel detaches from the vehicle while driving, it could result in a loss of vehicle control, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Toyota does not yet know the reason for the wearing of the hub bolts or under which driving patterns it could occur.

The company instructed owners not to drive their vehicles and has offered a range of remedies while it investigates and attempts to resolve the issue.

The remedies include a free loaner vehicle and covering fuel costs while Toyota keeps their car in storage for repair.

Toyota will also extend its New Vehicle Limited Warranty on the bZ4X with the time during which the owner is unable to drive the vehicle.

In addition, Toyota’s complimentary 12-month public charging programme for the bZ4X has also been extended to 31 December 2024.

For those who remained dissatisfied, Toyota offered to repurchase the vehicles.

The bz4X is the company’s first mass-produced fully-electric car to be sold globally and is also set to become the company’s first fully-electric offering in South Africa.

Although the recall impacts all the models, the company has only sold 2,700 models, and many of these had not yet been delivered to customers by the time of the recall.

The recall also impacts the Subaru Solterra, which is built on the same platform, but none of these models have been sold yet.