On Wednesday Toyota announced it’s recalling four models of its cars including all 2,500 RAV4 EVs which it says pose a serious safety risk due to a Tesla-supplied component.
In question for the California-market electric SUV that ceased production last year is the Electric Vehicle Traction Motor Assembly. Toyota says a software malfunction could lead it to shift into neutral and if this happens, it “will result in a complete loss of drive power, which can increase the risk of a crash.”
A “Check EV System” light will also come on if the software malfunction occurs, said the automaker.
As mentioned, more cars were recalled, a total of 112,500 in fact, comprised of specific Camrys, conventional RAV4s, and Highlanders. These are being recalled for other issues as described on a press release by Toyota.
Toyota says its dealers will perform the repair of the Tesla component in the RAV4 EVs which it did make clear “can increase the risk of a crash.” The press release doesn’t state it, but when asked Toyota media rep Cindy Knight confirmed to Automotive News the part in question was Tesla supplied. She otherwise said Toyota does not discuss supplier relations. Tesla spokesman Ricardo Reyes did not immediately comment to an inquiry.
Since last year’s termination of RAV4 EV production which was developed in collaboration between Tesla and Toyota, the two automakers have gone separate ways and have expressed opposing vision for the future of alternative energy.
Toyota is heading into hydrogen fuel cell technology while continuing to develop a plug-in hybrid and work on batteries behind the scenes. Its Mirai FCV was released in Japan late last year, and will launch in Europe then the U.S. later this year.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk has called hybrids “amphibians” and FCVs a stronger expletive, and – unguarded statements aside – Tesla says pure battery electric is the future. The automaker is awaiting the introduction of its Model X SUV for summer 2015, Model 3 following in 2017, and more.