A long-rumored Tesla killer and the Amazon-backed electric vehicle upstart, Rivian, which was once valued at $100 billion, just had to recall nearly every vehicle it’s ever made. Nearly 13,000 vehicles will be recalled by the company, as they say, over an “insufficiently torqued fastener,” as in some cases, it could potentially disrupt steering leading to an increased risk for crashes.
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The issue reportedly, in less serious cases, leads to excessive noise and vibration to emit from the vehicle’s front suspension.
In a letter, Rivian seemingly downplayed the issue where it told its customer it issued the voluntary recall, “out of an abundance of caution.”
The improperly torqued steering fastener could, in some cases, cause a “separation, affecting the driver’s ability to control the vehicle,” and increase the risk of a crash, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said in its recall report.
12,212 Rivian trucks, SUV’s and a subset of its electric delivery vehicles are specifically impacted by the recall. To put that in context, Rivian shipped a total of 14,317 vehicles this year, CNBC notes. So basically, this recall may impact around 80% of Rivian’s entire fleet, according to reports on Gizmodo.
Rivian will now inspect and properly secure the impacted steering knuckle fasteners following the recall, and the company will replace components completely in some cases.
As of September 28, the company became aware of seven reports potentially related to the issue, a Rivian spokesperson said, while also saying that they are not aware of any injuries related to the defect.
It is expected by the company that the fixes will only take a few minutes to complete and that it will make any necessary repairs free of charge.
“The safety of our customers will always be our top priority, and we are committed to fixing this issue on any affected vehicles as quickly as possible,” said the Rivian spokesperson.
“We will begin immediately contacting affected customers to schedule appointments for inspections and repairs if needed,” the spokesperson added.
Rivian’s once sky-high stock price went down after this massive recall. According to Reuters, Rivian’s stock dropped by around 9%, with some investors expressing concerns over whether or not the company will meet its much hyped 2023 production timeline.
In a note seen by Reuters, RBC Capital Markets said: “We have greater concerns on 2023 production expectations.”
Meanwhile, according to MarketWatch, an analyst at Wedbush, Dan Ives called the recall a “black eye,” for the automaker. From a much wider perspective, Rivian’s shares have reportedly dipped 67.3% this year.
The automotive and tech industry went for a wild ride with Rivian last year when it achieved a staggering market valuation of $100 billion following the biggest initial public offering of 2021.
After that valuation, Rivian was briefly made a newer upstart that produced less than 15,000 vehicles, the second most valuable carmaker on Earth. Second only to Tesla, of course.
Despite the company only just beginning to ship vehicles last year, Rivian has existed since 2009. And now, by 2023, the company ambitiously hopes to produce somewhere around 150,000 vehicles per year.
However, as of recalls and other false starts, that timeline, unfortunately, starts to sound more and more like the constantly missed Tesla deadlines – unrealistic and late.