Rivian, the Amazon-backed electric vehicle upstart and long-rumored Tesla killer once valued at $100 billion just had to recall nearly every vehicle it’s ever made.
The company says it will recall nearly 13,000 vehicles over an “insufficiently torqued fastener,” that could, in some cases, potentially disrupt steering leading to an increased risk for crashes. In less serious cases, the issue reportedly leads to excessive noise and vibration to emit from the vehicle’s front suspension.
Rivian seemingly downplayed the issue in a letter seen by Gizmodo where it told its customer it issued the voluntary recall, “out of an abundance of caution.”
In its recall report, The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said 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.
Specifically, the recall impacts 12,212 Rivian trucks, SUV’s and a subset of its electric delivery vehicles. To put that in context, CNBC notes Rivian shipped a total of 14,317 vehicles this year. That means this recall may impact around 80% of Rivian’s entire fleet.
Now, following the recall, Rivian will inspect and properly secure the impacted steering knuckle fasteners. In some cases, Rivian will replace components completely. A Rivian spokesperson told Gizmodo over email they became aware of seven reports potentially related to the issue as of September 28. The spokesperson said Rivian’s not aware of any injuries related to the defect. The company said it will make any necessary repairs free of charge and expects the fixes will only take a few minutes to complete.
“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,” the Rivian spokesperson said. “We will begin immediately contacting affected customers to schedule appointments for inspections and repairs if needed.”
That massive recall sent Rivian’s once sky-high stock price swerving. Rivian’s stock dropped by around 9% on Monday, according to Reuters, with some investors expressing concerns over whether or not the company will meet its much hyped 2023 production timeline.
“We have greater concerns on 2023 production expectations,” RBC Capital Markets said in a note seen by Reuters. Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush, meanwhile, called the recall a “black eye,” for the automaker according to MarketWatch. Zooming out, Rivian’s shares have reportedly dipped 67.3% this year.
Rivian took the automotive and tech industry for a wild ride last year when it achieved a staggering market valuation of $100 billion following the biggest initial public offering of 2021. That valuation briefly made Rivian, a newer upstart that’s produced less than 15,000 vehicles, the second most valuable carmaker on Earth. Second, of course, only to Tesla.
Rivian the company has existed since 2009, but only just began to ship vehicles last year. The company ambitiously hopes to produce somewhere around 150,000 vehicles per year by 2023. Recalls and other false starts, however, make that timeline start to sound more and more like the constantly missed Tesla deadlines.