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Rivian Recall Affects Nearly All of the Company's EVs

More than 12,000 Rivian EVs are subject to a recall due to an improperly fastened bolt that could affect steering

Rivian
  • Rivian Automotive has issued a recall for more than 12,000 vehicles.
  • An improperly secured fastener in the front suspension is the source of the issue.
  • The recalled vehicles include nearly all of Rivian's production run of EVs.
  • In its filings with the NHTSA, no accidents have been reported due to this defect.

Electric automaker Rivian has issued a recall for 12,212 electric vehicles. The recall relates to an improperly torqued fastener that could lead to front suspension noise, a harsher ride and potentially a loss of steering. In its filings with the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration, Rivian reported the problem was first discovered on one vehicle in mid-August of this year. The same problem was subsequently discovered on a handful of vehicles by the end of September.

The recall includes the Rivian R1T pickup truck, the R1S sport-utility and the company's EDV (Electric Delivery Van). Edmunds' long-term R1T test truck is also part of the recall. We'll be reporting on what happens to our truck with that recall as it progresses.

In the recall report with the NHTSA, the Michigan-based automaker stated that it "will begin notifying affected customers as soon as possible through emails and text messages. We will mail notifications on or before November 24th, 2022."

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Rivian

Improperly torqued fastener is the culprit

The root of the recall is what Rivian describes as "a nut connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle may not have been sufficiently torqued." In a worst-case scenario, the flaw "could cause excessive wheel camber, or, in rare instances, a separation, affecting the driver's ability to control the vehicle, and increasing the risk of a crash."

Rivian also stated the issue could lead to a harsher ride and noise coming from the front suspension, where the component is located. At the time of writing, no accidents due to this problem have been reported by either Rivian or the NHTSA.

In terms of pure numbers, this Rivian recall is on a small scale compared to issues that routinely involved tens or even hundreds of thousands of vehicles. The massive Takata airbag recall, for example, affected about 67 million vehicles worldwide. Yet, the problem for Rivian is that the approximately 12,000 recalled vehicles represent nearly its entire production run of EV pickup trucks, SUVs and delivery vans. Its reported production for 2022 totaled 14,317 vehicles at the end of the third quarter.

Rivian

Rivian's bumps in the road

Generally speaking, Rivian's two production vehicles — the R1T pickup and the R1S sport-ute — have received extremely positive reviews among the automotive media. With a current starting price of $73,000, the R1T offers more than 300 miles of range and has a maximum towing capacity of 11,000 pounds. The R1S uses the same electric underpinnings as the R1T, though its starting price is slightly higher at $78,000.

Production delays due to supply chain issues have delayed Rivian's production, however. The startup automaker has focused its efforts on building upper trim levels of both the R1S and R1T, including special Launch Edition versions of both EVs. Rivian has promised that a more well-rounded lineup of models — including an extended-range battery pack that could offer 400-plus miles of range — is on the way for the 2023 model year.

Earlier this year, Rivian made headlines for all the wrong reasons when it attempted to retroactively raise the price of vehicles that interested customers had preordered online. The price hike of roughly $12,000 was focused on pre-existing and future orders of quad-motor versions of both the R1S and R1T. The company eventually reversed course and honored the original price for any vehicles ordered before March 1.

Rivian has previously issued much smaller recalls for issues related to a faulty airbag sensor and an improperly bolted seat-belt anchor.

Edmunds says

Rivian's recall is another jolt for the American automaker as it finds its footing in the rapidly growing market for EVs.