Rivian Recalls SUVs, Trucks Over Faulty Airbags
A difficult stretch for upstart electric car manufacturer Rivian (and people who drive its vehicles) got tougher recently as the company announced another recall.
Rivian recently called back a relatively small number of trucks and sport utility vehicles over a problem with side airbags. Defective fasteners do not secure the airbags to the roof rails, limiting the safety devices’ effectiveness in the event of a crash, the company told federal regulators.
“If a passenger is seated in the front passenger seat and the [automatic locking retractor] is reporting ‘on’ incorrectly, the passenger air bag may not deploy as intended,” Rivian said in a recall notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “In the event of a crash which is supposed to deploy the front passenger air bag, the occupant may have an increased risk of injury due to a reduced deployment or lack of deployment.”
Rivian says the issue is limited to about 30 vehicles and that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries stemming from the defect. The company plans to notify owners of recalled cars in early April.
“Rivian will inspect and replace, if necessary, passenger seat belt system components in the affected vehicles free of charge,” the company said in the NHTSA recall notice.
The company has announced a handful of recalls since going public in November 2021.
Last year, Rivian announced it was calling back some 13,000 cars because of a defect that could impact steering. The automaker said at the time that a fastener connecting the front upper control arm and steering knuckle may not have been “sufficiently torqued.”
Rivian separately called back some 200 vehicles in November, citing a problem with seatbelts in the trucks and SUVs. It told NHTSA that seat belts could come loose, increasing the risk of injury in the event of a collision.
The company last year also walked back a widely criticized move to jack up prices on buyers who had already pre-ordered new vehicles. Rivian has pushed back and reshuffled production plans several times, citing supply chain and other issues.
California Lemon Law Rights for Rivian Owners
Rivian and other car owners in California have some important rights and protections when it comes to defective vehicles.
The California lemon law requires automakers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while the cars are under warranty. It also forces those companies to buy back or replace cars that they cannot or simply refuse to properly fix.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. That is one reason why it is important to consult an experienced lemon law attorney. The law requires manufacturers to pick up the tab for certain legal fees incurred by owners enforcing their rights.
Talk with a California Lemon Law Attorney
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle, a California lemon law attorney at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.