In a notable development, Toyota has issued its first recall for the bZ3 electric vehicles (EVs) in China since the model’s launch in April. FAW Toyota, the Japanese automaker’s joint venture in China, is recalling 25,815 bZ3 vehicles produced between March 13 and November 9 due to concerns related to the power battery management controller’s program.
According to the announcement on China’s State Administration for Market Regulation (SAMR) website, the recall is prompted by an improper program in the power battery management controller. Some of the affected vehicles exhibit an excessive deviation in the remaining power estimation, especially when they haven’t been fully charged for multiple consecutive occasions and continue to be driven at high speeds.
The issue arises when the remaining battery charge displayed on the vehicle instrument is higher than the actual remaining charge. In extreme cases, the vehicle may lose power before the charging warning light comes on, posing a potential safety hazard. FAW Toyota aims to address this concern by upgrading the control program of the battery management controller through OTA (over the air) technology, and this service will be provided free of charge.
The recall marks a significant moment for Toyota’s bZ3 model, which was unveiled in China on October 25, 2022, and officially went on sale on April 16, 2023. The bZ3 is the second model in Toyota’s bZ series, following the bZ4X SUV. Priced at RMB 169,800 ($23,760), the bZ3 is a mid-sized electric sedan based on Toyota’s e-TNGA architecture, measuring 4,725 mm in length, 1,835 mm in width, and 1,475 mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2,880 mm.
The vehicle is powered by electric motors and blade batteries supplied by BYD, a prominent Chinese automaker. The in-vehicle system is developed by BYD Toyota EV Technology, a joint venture between BYD and Toyota. Notably, the bZ3 is equipped with a single rear-mounted motor available in 135 kW and 180 kW options, both offering a peak torque of 303 Nm. This configuration enables the sedan to accelerate from 0 to 50 km/h in 3.2 seconds.
Despite the recall, the bZ3 has demonstrated steady performance in the Chinese market. Wholesale sales figures for November indicate that 3,065 units were sold, marking a 2.17 percent increase from the previous month. These sales figures reflect the model’s popularity and acceptance among Chinese consumers, emphasizing the growing demand for electric vehicles in the country.
The recall, while addressing a specific issue related to the power battery management controller, underscores the industry’s commitment to prioritizing safety and swiftly rectifying any potential concerns. As electric vehicles become increasingly integral to the automotive landscape, manufacturers are navigating new challenges, such as software-related issues, with the aim of ensuring a seamless and secure driving experience for consumers.