Rivian takes yet another big hit.
Rivian has initiated a recall for more than 5,000 examples of the R1S SUV, with the electric off-roader suffering from a rather peculiar problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the backup lights do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard Number 108, which deals with lights and reflective devices.
It's not that the lights don't work. In fact, they operate perfectly fine. However, the NHTSA claims that the "reverse light beam may not be visible from certain angles." As such, Rivian cannot simply repair or replace the faulty design. Instead, the company has said it will issue a redesigned backup light that conforms to the aforementioned safety standards.
A total of 5,030 examples built in 2022 and 2023 are affected. The automaker notes that customers will receive the new reverse light at no cost.
While this doesn't sound like a big deal, visible backup lights are crucial to safe driving. If a pedestrian or road user can't see the illuminated lamps, it could easily cause a severe accident. According to the safety recall report, Rivian is unaware of any crashes, deaths, or injuries related to this design defect.
A backup light is even more crucial on an electric vehicle. Due to its near-silent operation, people won't hear it coming. But that's why EVs must have an artificial sound generator that sounds at low speeds to alert pedestrians.
Rivian notes that the R1S reverse operation sound and other reverse-related safety items, such as the backup sensors and camera, still work.
Even though the R1S' rear light cluster is similar to the one found on the R1T pickup, only the SUV has been affected. Rivian and the NHTSA have not mentioned the electric truck, so there must be a minor difference.
If you own an R1S, you can expect Rivian to contact you with additional information by May 20. Customers can also contact the company's customer service department at 1-855-748-4265. The recall number is FSAM-1216.
This isn't the first time Rivian has suffered a recall. In October, the company recalled 13,000 vehicles because of a steering issue that could cause one of the front wheels to fall off. Months earlier, 502 R1T trucks were recalled over a potential airbag problem.
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