Subaru Recalls 2023 Solterra EV over Wheels, Says Don’t Drive until Fixed

  • Subaru has announced a recall for 1,182 units of its 2023 Solterra SUV over the same wheel hub bolt issue that plagued the company’s first all-electric vehicle last year.
  • Subaru and Toyota jointly developed the Solterra and the Toyota version of the EV, called the bZ4x. Only Solterras is affected this time because the problems were caused by contractor crews that only worked on the Subaru models.
  • If you have an affected Solterra, Subaru said you shouldn’t drive it. Instead, call your local Subaru dealer to have it towed and repaired at no cost to the owner.

Subaru has issued a recall for more than 1,000 model year 2023 Solterra SUVs over a hub bolt problem that the automaker is believed to have fixed last year. The all-electric SUVs were restored—sorry, were supposed to be restored—along with hundreds of Toyota bZ4X EVs. Toyota and Subaru developed these vehicles together, which ended up being visually different and mechanically similar.

Before too many bZ4X EVs were sold (258, to be exact), Toyota issued a recall regarding the possibility of the wheels falling off. Subaru did the same for the Solterra, but at that time none had been delivered to customers.

The two automakers developed a fix that involved updating the wheels and replacing the hub bolts with a new hub bolt-with-washer design. That’s usually the end of the story as far as I remember. But late last week, Subaru announced that the repairs to some of the Solterras had not been completed correctly.

Subaru said it knows the affected vehicles came through one of two port locations and that the crews the company contracted to do the work “did not properly complete the repair procedure, leading to the potential for significantly understressed bolts .”

Subaru did not say how many vehicles were worked on by the specific crews, but “out of an abundance of caution, Subaru is recalling all vehicles repaired at all port locations supported by the third-party contractor.” This means that a total of 1182 Solterras are recalled.

Subaru said Solterra vehicles without the original hub bolt are affected and vehicles repaired at other facilities are not affected. For the record, until the end of January Solterra sold a total of 1418 Solterras.

The fix, as it was before, sounds easy enough. First, Subaru said no one should drive an affected Solterra, as there is again a chance the wheels could loosen or fall off. Instead, Solterra owners should call their local dealer to have it towed in and inspected and, if necessary, to have the hub bolts re-torqued to the correct specification. The towing and repair costs will not be the responsibility of the customer.

Owners can look up their Solterra’s VIN to see if it is included in the recall by visiting the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recall website or by calling the Vehicle Safety Hotline at 888–327–4236.