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Toyota, Subaru Shares Slump After EV Safety Recalls

Electric vehicle (EV) recalls have prompted a drop on Friday in the share prices of Japan's Toyota Motor and Subaru.
Subaru chief executive Tomomi Nakamura stands next to a Solterra during its unveiling in 2021. File photo: Reuters.


Electric vehicle (EV) recalls have prompted a drop on Friday in the share prices of Japan’s Toyota Motor and Subaru.

The recall by Toyota of 2,700 units of the bZ4X SUVs, rolled out less than two months ago in Japan, is a setback to the world’s largest carmaker. Toyota originally said 112 vehicles were affected, then expanded the recall.

Toyota said on Thursday not every model was subject to the recall – which was related to a defect in a bolt on its wheels – but declined to say how many it has built overall.

Subaru, in which Toyota has a nearly 20% stake, also said it was recalling globally about 2,600 units of the Solterra, its first pure EV, which was jointly developed with its top shareholder.

Japan’s safety regulator said sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a wheel hub bolt to loosen, raising the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle. It said it was not aware of any accidents being caused by the defect.

Subaru shares slumped nearly 5% and Toyota’s fell 1.6%.

Once a favourite with environmentalists for its popular hybrid Prius model, Toyota has come under fire for not acting quickly enough to phase out petrol-powered cars and its lobbying on climate policy.

The company has repeatedly pushed back against the criticism, arguing the necessity to offer a variety of powertrains to suit different markets and customers.

Petrol-electric hybrid models remain far more popular in Toyota’s home market than EVs, which accounted for just 1% of passenger cars sold in Japan last year, based on industry data.


  • Reuters, with additional editing by George Russell




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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.


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