Rivian has hit another hitch in its quest to compete with Tesla for high-end electric vehicle sales.
The company recently announced that it is recalling some 200 vehicles that are equipped with faulty seat belts. The safety devices could come loose in certain Rivian trucks and sport utility vehicles, the company told federal regulators.
Improperly installed belt anchors are to blame, according to Rivian.
“Improperly installed seat belt anchorages may not allow the height adjuster to perform as intended as an upper anchorage point for the seat belt,” the company said in a notice filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The recall covers certain R1S electric SUVs and R1T electric trucks built between January and August of 2022. The company said it would notify owners of those vehicles by mid-October.
Rivian is asking owners to bring their vehicles to Rivian dealers for inspection and repair. The company also said it would pick up the tab for any costs that owners already incurred to get seat belts fixed.
Rivian has had a tough go of it as it tries to compete in the growing market for electric cars. The Amazon-backed automaker - like rival Tesla - sells cars directly to customers rather than through a dealership or other middleman.
The company recently walked back a widely criticized move to jack up prices on buyers who had already pre-ordered new vehicles. It has pushed back and reshuffled production plans several times, citing supply chain and other issues.
In June, Rivian announced that it was recalling some 500 electric pickup trucks over faulty airbags. It said at the time that the vehicles’ airbags may not deactivate when a child is in the front passenger seat, increasing the risk of an injury.
Legal Rights for California Car Owners
Safety recalls are unfortunately common across the auto industry. The world’s major car manufacturers routinely call back millions of vehicles every year, citing a wide range of defects that put everyone on the road at risk.
There is some good news for car owners in California: You have some important rights and protections under the state’s lemon law.
The law requires automakers to perform a variety of repairs on vehicles while they are under warranty. It also requires the companies to buy back or replace cars that they cannot or simply refuse to fix. That includes covering the car’s purchase price, as well as financing fees, rental car costs and other related expenses.
There is no specific number of repair requests or attempts that must happen before the buyback or replace requirement kicks in. That is one of several reasons why it is vital to consult a seasoned lemon law attorney.
Speak With a California Lemon Law Attorney at Our Firm
If you have been stuck with a defective or malfunctioning vehicle or are haggling with a car manufacturer over repairs, the California lemon lawyers at Bickel Sannipoli APC can help you fight back.