Rivian has fixed a ‘significant majority’ of its recalled vehicles • TechCrunch
RJ Scaringe, CEO and founder of electric car maker Rivian, said Wednesday that the company has identified a “large majority” of more than 12000 vehicles which was called earlier this month.
At the TechCrunch Disrupt scene, Scaringe gave the audience a post-mortem report on how Rivian solved the problem that caused the company to voluntarily recall thousands of vehicles delivered with a loose fastener. The lock connects the front upper control arm and steering knuckle. Rivian has issued the recall over concerns it may not be exposing it to enough torque on some vehicles. This can cause tires to sag, vibrate, tilt and lose steering control.
“There are thousands of parts in a car, and so there are certain types of joints we call safety-critical joints or safety-critical joints, and each one of them has a torque measurement,” Scaringe said. “So when you put the fastest on, we actually log the torque, it goes into a database and we have the traceability. And what happened with this was the trace element was lost in some way the back end does, so we had to check that.”
Scaringe said Rivian has traceability on hundreds of in-vehicle mounts, and the problem should never happen again.
“Every manufacturer deals with a particular version of this, and so for us, this was something where we identified a potential problem that we said we wanted to get out as soon as possible,” Scaringe said. “So the moment we saw a potential problem, we made a decision. It was Friday afternoon to make the move. By Friday evening, repairs were underway. We worked through a large majority of the vehicles for the next 10 days.”
Scaringe said Rivian’s direct-to-consumer model allowed the company to move quickly, rather than having to go through third parties or merchants.
“We literally mobilized our entire service network to say let’s go through these vehicles really fast,” Scaringe said. “In this case, it was a bit of a fix. It just checks the torque faster.”
Despite apparent frustration from customers at having to place a vehicle recall, Scaringe said the reaction has been positive.
“We were honest about it, we didn’t cover it up,” he said. “We said we were going to fix this. And so in fact there was something really positive.”