More Trouble Plagues the Rivian R1T After Its First Recall

Just because the Rivian R1T was the first electric truck to enter production doesn’t mean it’s not in hot water. After losing billions, the 2022 Rivian R1T is facing its first recall. It sounds like a minor problem but could turn into a big deal. 

2022 Rivian R1T recall due to faulty airbags 

2022 Rivian R1T production line
2022 Rivian R1T production line | Rivian

The 2022 Rivian R1T officially has its first recall due to an issue with the passenger seat airbag. About 502 trucks need to be taken in for maintenance. That sounds like a low number. It’s actually a high percentage of the Rivian trucks on the road. 

Only about 1,000 R1T units were produced and delivered last year, and about 2,500 models were manufactured in the first quarter of this year, but only about 1,000 of them have been delivered. 

So, about a fourth of the Rivian R1T trucks on the road need to have the airbag problem corrected. According to Electrek, that’s a significant portion of the trucks. Also, it could lead to further delays. 

Is this R1T recall dangerous? 

Rivian found that the passenger seats in the 2022 Rivian R1T have a defect that may not deactivate airbags when detecting a child seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) considers this to be a safety risk. 

The NHTSA shared that if a child seat or a child is seated in the front passenger seat, the passenger airbag might not deactivate as required. 

In the event of a crash that deploys the front passenger airbag, the infant in the child seat or child occupant may face an increased risk of injury. 

This recall affects R1T electric pickup trucks that were produced between the start of production last year and April 12, 2022. 

Rivian shared that the potentially affected vehicle production period started in September 2021, when Rivan began building vehicles with suspect seat assemblies, and ended on April 12, 2022, when Rivian stopped building them.  

The population of affected seats was traced back to supplier manufacturing records, seat calibration data, and Rivian component traceability information. Rivian will bring the trucks back to its service center to provide a seat replacement for free. 

Is Rivian in trouble? 

Rear view of orange-red 2022 Rivian R1T, one of the best electric cars still eligible for $7,500 federal EV tax credit
2022 Rivian R1T | Rivian

We wouldn’t be too concerned about the 2022 Rivian R1T recall. It seems like an easy issue to fix. However, Rivian lost $1.5 billion last quarter and spent over $500 million to deliver only $95 million worth of vehicles. 

This could be due to logistical issues. Rivian is still ramping production up but could only deliver less than half of the trucks produced during the first quarter. Now, R1T models have to be brought back in for service. 

Also, it’s unclear how long it will take to replace the seats. What if supply chain issues are limiting inventory? Will customers have loaner vehicles while their Rivian R1T trucks are in the shop?

Plus, Ford just sold eight million shares of its Rivian stock, causing it to plummet. Stock prices are at new lows while the start-up continues pumping out new models. We will keep an eye on Rivian to see if things get worse.

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