Toyota and Subaru share drop in recalls of their first EV models

TOKYO, June 24 (Reuters) – Shares of Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) and Subaru Corp (7270.T) fell on Friday after the two Japanese automakers announced recalls of their first electric vehicle (EV) products in series for the world market due to the risk of the wheels coming off.

Toyota’s recall of 2,700 units of the bZ4X SUVs, launched less than two months ago in Japan, is a setback for the world’s biggest automaker by sales as it seeks to take on the biggest rival electric vehicles Tesla Inc (TSLA.O). Read more

A Toyota spokesman said Thursday that not all models were subject to the recall, but declined to say how many it had built in total.

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Subaru, in which Toyota has a nearly 20% stake, also said it was recalling around 2,600 units of the Solterra, its first all-electric vehicle jointly developed with its major shareholder, worldwide.

Japan’s safety regulator said sharp turns and hard braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, increasing the risk of a wheel coming off the vehicle. He said he was not aware of any accidents caused by the defect.

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

Once a favorite of environmentalists for its popular Prius hybrid model, Toyota has come under fire for not moving quickly enough to phase out gas-powered cars and its lobbying on climate policy.

The company has repeatedly brushed off criticism, arguing the need to offer a variety of powertrains to suit different markets and customers. Read more

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

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Tokyo office reports; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Sam Holmes

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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