Electric car manufacturer Rivian is voluntarily recalling 12,212 cars due to concerns about a possible loose fastener, or nut, which can cause serious problems like excessive wheel tilt, and in rare cases wheel separation which can lead to heavy losses of steering control.
In a letter to customers on Friday, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe said the company planned to recall cars due to this problem, which it became aware of on September 28. While Scaringe explained that the problem only affected “a small percentage of vehicles” and that the company had so far only seen seven reports “potentially related” to the loose fastener, it issued the recall out of an abundance of caution.
A Rivia spokesperson told Gizmodo on Saturday that the company will make any necessary adjustments to customers with affected vehicles free of charge at its service centers. To date, Rivian is not aware of any injuries that have occurred due to this issue.
“We will immediately begin contacting affected customers to schedule appointments for inspections and repairs if necessary,” said the spokesperson said in an emailed statement. “The repair takes a few minutes to complete and with customer cooperation we have built the capacity to complete the required action in as little as 30 days.”
The official recall notice was published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, also known as NHTSA, on Saturday. It includes certain models of Rivian’s 2022 R1T pickup truck, its R1S SUV and its electric delivery vehicles, or EDVs. Although the recall includes 12,212 vehicles, Rivian estimates that only 1%, or about 122, are affected.
In a description of the problem provided to NHTSA, Rivian provided more details about the loose fasteners problem and its possible consequences. As explained by the EV manufacturer, the fastener connecting the upper upper control arm and the steering knuckle may not have been tightened or tightened enough. In these cases, “a loose steering knuckle attachment can separate, causing loss of vehicle control and increasing the risk of a crash,” Rivian said.
According to Rivian, the solution is quite simple tighten the nut.
“It is important not to minimize the potential risk involved and why we are volunteering to carry out this recall. In rare cases, the nut could come loose completely,” Scaringe said in his letter to customers, which was seen by Gizmodo. “I want to reiterate that this is extremely rare, but it reinforces why we act so quickly and cautiously.”
Rivian customers with this problem may “experience excessive noise, vibration or harshness from the front suspension, or a change in steering performance or feel,” Scaringe said in his letter. In such cases, customers should call Rivian immediately. If customers do not feel safe driving their cars, Rivian will come to them to fix the problem or pick up the vehicle for repair at one of its service centers, the CEO stated.
So far this year, Rivian has produced 14,317 vehicles. Not all of the cars the company produced this year are affected by the recall, as some of the 2022 models began production last year. In a announcement earlier this week, Rivian stated that it was on track to meet its target of producing 25,000 vehicles by 2022.
The company is planned to publish its financial results for the third quarter on 9 November.