What starts out as a steering issue can quickly see the wheels come off your Rivian EV. Literally.
EV startup Rivian has experienced the highs and the lows of vehicle production in its short time with us, and just as one thing goes well, another goes badly. The automaker recently announced strong Q3 financial results and has agreed to work with Mercedes-Benz on electric vans, but it has also had to contend with a judge's ruling that endangers its new Georgia production facility. As if that's not stressful enough, the automaker has now had to roll out a recall that affects some 13,000 vehicles. That number would be relatively small for almost any other brand, but Rivian has only produced around 14,300 EVs this year so far.
The recall affects both the 2022 Rivian R1T pickup and the R1S SUV built "during a 13-month period" and concerns a fastener that connects the vehicle's front upper control arm and the steering knuckle. This fastener may not have been torqued enough, but thus far, no injuries have been reported. The Rivian EDV is also affected.
In a letter to owners, Rivian CEO RJ Scaringe wrote what to look out for, although all owners should probably get their vehicles checked: "If you experience excessive noise, vibration or harshness from the front suspension, or a change in steering performance or feel, you should call immediately."
As is often the case with recalls, owners are already being alerted of the issue via email from Rivian.
Although the company is based in Irvine, California, those who own a Rivian won't be inconvenienced too much, as the automaker will inspect vehicles through Mobile Service appointments, meaning that a technician will be sent to R1S and R1T owners. The fix should take just a few minutes, and Rivian expects that it will have resolved the issue on all affected vehicles in roughly 30 days, assuming that all owners have been able to meet appointments.
While we don't recommend attempting to resolve the issue yourself, Rivian Forums member Christopher says that the highlighted nut in the below image is the one in question. According to his post, the correct torque setting is 90 lb-ft, or 122 Newton meters.
While some owners may not have experienced problematic symptoms, the images at the top of this article showcase what happens in a worst-case scenario when these bolts come loose, as an R1T losing a wheel while driving through a suburb earlier this year demonstrated.