The New Subaru Solterra EV Is Losing Traction Fast
The 2023 Subaru is the automaker's first EV, and the Japanese automaker was counting on its impact on customers looking for a go-anywhere compact SUV. But things came to a screeching halt at the end of June when Toyota recalled the bZ4X EV jointly made with the Solterra involving wheels that could potentially come loose.
Subaru submitted the Solterra recall to Japan's transportation ministry that said sharp turns and sudden braking could cause a hub bolt to loosen, raising the risk of a wheel coming off the new vehicle.
A new report from Automotive News (by subscription) says the recall delayed Solterra deliveries to U.S. customers and around the globe for the time being and froze Subaru's EV ambitions before they ever got a chance to get going.
Subaru had plans to sell about 6,000 Solterra EVs in the U.S. in 2022, with capacity expected to increase in 2023. The entire Solterra allocation for U.S. retailers was sold, and it looked like the new all-electric model was off and running.
The launch of the 2023 Subaru Solterra electric compact SUV is now put on ice this year by a stop-sale issued by Toyota.
When will customers get the 2023 Solterra they ordered?
A source close to Subaru told us the Solterra display vehicles were supposed to arrive in showrooms in August or September and are further delayed. And now they don't have a delivery date from Subaru Corporation. So there is no indication when the models that were ordered by customers back in February will arrive.
What's next for Subaru's EV plans?
Subaru announced they will begin making their own EVs in mixed production with internal combustion vehicles at its Yajima plant in Japan by 2025. Automotive News says Subaru will begin offering hybridized powertrains sourced from Toyota by 2025 and will build battery-electric vehicles itself in a new factory in Japan in the later half of the decade.
In 2027, Subaru will build a dedicated EV factory on the site of its Oizumi plant in Japan and produce its own all-electric and hybrid vehicles. But it will rely on its current lineup of Forester, Outback, Crosstrek, Ascent, and other combustion-powered models and the Solterra until then.
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Denis Flierl has invested over 30 years in the automotive industry in a consulting role working with every major car brand. He is an accredited member of the Rocky Mountain Automotive Press. Check out Subaru Report where he covers all of the Japanese automaker's models. More stories can be found on the Torque News Subaru page. Follow Denis on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
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