Rivian announced a recall on Friday impacting nearly every vehicle the electric car company has delivered to customers.
The venture, which is partially owned by Amazon and Ford, received seven reports potentially related to a loose fastener connecting vehicles’ front upper-control arm and steering knuckle, which could be affecting drivers’ ability to steer. Shares of Rivian had fallen more than 10% on Monday amid the recall announcement.
“If you experience excessive noise, vibration or harshness from the front suspension, or a change in steering performance or feel, you should call immediately,” Rivian CEO R.J. Scaringe wrote in a letter to vehicle owners obtained by NBC News. The company does not expect to incur salient costs from the recall, since the fix takes a few moments, and expects to complete all repairs within the month pending customer cooperation.
Rivian, which is working to “shift consumer mindsets” regarding climate change and “inspire other companies to fundamentally change the way they operate,” currently sells the R1T truck and the R1S SUV for $73,000 and $78,000 respectively, according to its website. The company has signed the Climate Pledge, under which companies vow to pursue net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, and is attempting to reach the goal one decade ahead of schedule.
The electric vehicle maker joined other technology companies, including competitor Tesla, in dismissing a substantial portion of its employees amid macroeconomic pressures.
“Over the last six months, the world has dramatically changed with inflation reaching record highs, interest rates rapidly rising and commodity prices continuing to climb — all of which have contributed to the global capital markets tightening,” Scaringe wrote in an email obtained by TechCrunch earlier this year. “We are financially well positioned and our mission is more important than ever, but to fully realize our potential, our strategy must support our sustainable growth as we ramp toward profitability.”
The recall occurs as state and federal regulators create new incentives for electric vehicle ownership. A recent set of guidelines from the California Air Resources Board mandates that 35% of new cars in the state must produce zero emissions by 2026 — a standard that will reach a 100% benchmark by 2035. States such as Massachusetts, Washington, and Virginia have enacted legislation conforming their economies to the California regulations.
Analysts have nevertheless cautioned that the California electric grid, which faced blackout risks during a heatwave last month, will require significant upgrades to manage a rapid transition from internal combustion vehicles. Alerts from the state’s power authority prompted residents to refrain from charging their electric cars during peak demand hours.
The White House has likewise set the “ambitious target” of ensuring that electric vehicles represent 50% of car sales in the United States by 2030. President Joe Biden recently signed the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $7,500 tax credits for new electric vehicles and $4,000 tax credits for used electric vehicles.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg contended during a keynote address at the Texas Tribune Festival last month that residents of the Lone Star State could save money by buying electric cars to bypass elevated prices at the pump. “Some of the best use cases for electric vehicles are in places like Texas,” Buttigieg said, “places where people spend more time in their vehicles, where you drive longer distances than in a dense coastal city and therefore spend more money on gas and therefore would save more money — provided you can afford an electric vehicle, which is why we’re fighting to make electric vehicles cheaper.”