A Popular Car Was Just Recalled Because The Wheels Could Fall Off

Subaru recalled its 2021 and 2022 model year Solterra electric vehicles due to a risk of its wheels falling off.

By Tori Hook | Updated

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Subaru has recalled its first electric car, the Solterra, because of the risk of the wheels falling off—quite literally. This is the second recall of the Solterra in the last several months, both for risks posed by the wheels. The Solterra was Subaru’s first foray into the field of electric vehicles but, thanks to the car recall, it hasn’t made much of an impact.

Electric vehicles are becoming more and more popular among consumers, especially those looking to make the switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy alternatives. In 2022, they accounted for nearly six percent of the entire auto market, up from just three percent in 2021. Subaru is widely considered one of the most eco-friendly automotive brands, with products produced in zero-landfill plants, including one that’s a designated backyard wildlife habitat.

Subaru should be on the frontlines of clean energy, but the recent car recall puts them behind many, if not most, of their competitors, who’ve spent years finding ways to produce better and better electric vehicles. For a brand that prides itself on its environmental responsibility, the danger of a wheel falling off is not very environment- or user-friendly.

The Solterra car recall was issued, according to Electrek, due to under-torqued hub bolts on vehicles that had already been returned and repaired during the previous recall in August 2022. They suspect that the contractor could have left some of the bolts under-torqued, which could lead to the wheels falling off the vehicle. The car recall affects over a thousand vehicles, and officials at Subaru say that the car should not be driven until it can be returned or repaired.

Over 30 million cars get recalled each year, and that number is shared between most major manufacturers of vehicles. If you own a car, it’s important to stay aware and informed about current car recalls and take any precautions suggested by the company. Car manufacturers will usually extend a buy-back offer or give you a refund, depending on the specific policies in place and the scale of the vehicle’s problem.

Fortunately for Subaru, though, they won’t have to scrap the Solterra completely. In order to re-enter the electric vehicle market and move past the car recall, they’ll simply need to tighten the hub holts on the affected vehicles. Luckily for both Subaru and interested buyers, many dealerships can now offer free inspections to those looking at the Solterra and will make the hub bolt fix quick and at no cost to the buyer, a painless solution to a potentially costly problem.

As electric cars become more mainstream and charging stations pop up in parking lots around the country, it’s natural that the industry will have a few growing pains. Subaru’s Solterra car recall is just a hiccup on the journey to bigger, better, and more efficient electric vehicles. Only time will tell, though, if Subaru will be able to keep up with the industry’s biggest players or if, over time, they’ll go the way of the fossil fuel.