Rivian R1T Proprietor Says His Truck Has Been Out For Repairs For Eight Months


When Utah-based Michael Holbrook took supply of his spanking new Rivian R1T Launch Version in June 2022, he felt ecstatic. He was among the many early reservation holders and had shelled out roughly $85,000 for the truck, draped within the El Cap Granite metallic paint. Regardless of the three-year wait, it appeared all worthwhile. Between June 2022 and April 2023, Holbrook clocked roughly 7,500 miles on his R1T.

“The truck exceeded my expectations in each method potential,” Holbrook instructed InsideEVs. What’s to not like, proper? With quad motors, an ego-humbling 835 horsepower, and sports activities car-rivaling driving dynamics, the R1T was a delight from behind the wheel, he indicated. “I’ve used it to hold snowboarding and mountain biking gear, and I even towed a 5000-pound snowmobile with it,” he stated.

However in April 2023, the R1T confronted an surprising coincidence. It collided with a Jeep Cherokee at an intersection in Utah. The Cherokee drove in from the correct and ran into the entrance proper fender of the R1T. “We have been each actually gradual, perhaps 5 miles an hour,” Holbrook stated. The R1T’s entrance proper quarter panel suffered minor injury. He drove the automobile to a Rivian-certified physique store in Salt Lake Metropolis to switch the facet digicam and restore the broken panel. However that was eight months in the past, and Holbrook stated that his automobile nonetheless hasn’t been returned to him.

After an preliminary evaluation, the physique store discovered that the crash had pinched the cable linking one of many facet view cameras. Ideally, that portion of the wiring harness wanted alternative to get the digicam working once more. The R1T has 11 cameras in whole, overlaying the entrance, rear, each side, and the mattress, offering a encompass view of the automobile.

However here is the place issues bought fairly messy: To swap out the facet view digicam, the physique store needed to take the inside aside, yank out the seats, and dismantle the dashboard to switch your complete wiring harness. The repair wasn’t a stroll within the park; it wanted Rivian’s specialised diagnostic software program named ‘Experience.’ The physique store did not have the software program, nor the mechanics there have been educated to make use of it, based on Holbrook.

Rivian Owner Service Experience

In the event you’re not but steeped on the earth of vehicles, wiring harnesses are just like the veins in a physique. In essence, they’re the automotive’s nervous system, sending energy and alerts to totally different parts and programs: lights, switches, audio system, cameras, you title it. An organized community of insulated cables and connectors work behind the scenes to make all of it occur. However disassembling the automobile’s total wiring harness to switch a small piece of kit is one thing remarkable.

It seems that Rivian is not the one one dealing with challenges associated to wiring harness design. Again in Might 2022, Lucid recalled a bunch of Air electrical sedans attributable to defective cables linked to its gauge cluster. The cables risked getting broken attributable to steering column actions. Porsche, in 2022, recalled over 40,000 Taycans after it discovered that the wiring harness may very well be broken throughout seat adjustment, resulting in deactivated airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners, posing severe security dangers. Even Chevrolet Bolt EV homeowners shared related worries on an on-line discussion board again in 2021, the place wiring harness failures have been inflicting security considerations.

Holbrook stated the EV sat on the licensed collision heart for 4 months as a result of Rivian hadn’t handed over the required software program. It was then shipped to Rivian, and it took two extra months making an attempt to type out the issue. “When the automotive returned, the physique store discovered that Rivian didn’t do it [the repair] accurately and broken the automobile additional,” he added. “At that time, I known as Rivian, however they refused to talk to me,” he stated. “My automobile has been utterly mutilated on this technique of being disassembled twice and reassembled twice.”

InsideEVs reached out to Rivian, and right here’s what an organization spokesperson stated: “It is a comparatively new firm, and we’re studying processes. Right this moment, this can be a very easy repair. The size of the restore is 1703621689 considerably shorter as a result of we’ve developed a service harness to unravel this downside. It was not initially simply fixable. The proprietor is getting a totally restored automobile. The automobile is being repaired to the fullest extent potential.”

Rivian additionally stated that this case was distinctive. “Eight months is certainly an outlier that usually doesn’t occur. However restore time for collision injury is up throughout the business.” Additionally, automobiles concerned in collisions aren’t eligible for a buyback, the case was reviewed by a committee and appeared to have gone by way of the complete course of, however the final determination was that the R1T was not eligible for a buyback.

We acknowledge that an eight-month wait time for a collision restore is simply too lengthy, and we’ve got been in touch with each the third-party collision heart and the client. Extra collision facilities are wanted to restore Rivian automobiles. This 12 months, we’ve got doubled the variety of Rivian licensed third social gathering collision facilities, and proceed to develop that quantity to present clients extra choices when choosing a physique store for his or her collision restore wants.

In eight months, Holbrook has pushed three totally different vehicles. He picked up a rental Jeep Wrangler for the primary two months, coated by Nationwide. For the third month, he continued driving the Wrangler however paid for it himself. Then for a few months, he drove his son’s 15-year-old Toyota Highlander. Then Rivian lastly handed him a loaner R1T, which doesn’t connect with his cellphone, and has some restricted connectivity options, however works nice in any other case, he stated.

Rivian appears to concentrate on its wiring harness issues. CFO Claire McDonough indicated earlier this 12 months that the corporate expects some downtime in the summertime of 2024 to shift to less complicated community architectures and scale back the variety of components, primarily ECUs, by 60 p.c for the R1T and R1S, which might result in the shortening of the wiring harnesses by 25 p.c.

Tesla, however, can be making an attempt to eradicate wiring harness issues with a complete redesign. The Cybertruck is imagined to be utilizing a patented wiring structure, far less complicated than different Teslas, with a number of native controllers linked to a high-speed communications bus, reported AutoEvolution earlier this month. In idea, these distributed controllers can be simpler to restore, eradicate handbook set up, and help robotic meeting.

What Rivian’s future R1T/R1S variations will seem like beneath stays to be seen, however after I requested Holbrook if he would buy a Rivian once more, he stated he felt like his automobile was the “guinea pig” on this entire service course of. ​​“I like the automobile. However it turns into ineffective for an prolonged time if something goes fallacious. So not till they repair these design flaws.”


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