back to article Rivian recalls nearly every vehicle it has sold

Beleaguered electric automaker Rivian is facing another setback: the recall of nearly 80 percent of the vehicles it has produced. Rivian's R1T trucks, R1S SUVs, and a subset of its electric delivery vehicles (EDVs) – 12,212 vehicles in all – are being recalled due to "a loose steering knuckle fastener [which] could separate, …

  1. AndrueC Silver badge
    Happy

    That happened to my brother many, many years ago. Well..almost :)

    We were riding our bikes back toward Exeter on the A38 and his handlebars came off. He'd managed to adjust them a little too far. Thankfully he fell toward the verge rather the traffic.

    1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
      Coat

      Seriously - Not A Made Up Name.

      Was this at the Wobbly Wheel Junction?

      https://www.devonlive.com/news/history/a38-wobbly-wheel-junction-near-6532023

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      A former co-worker (~15 years ago) witnessed this happening.

      He was driving down the highway, and the vehicle in front of him abruptly veered off the road and into the woods at highway speeds. My co-worker stopped and went to check on the other driver and render aid if needed. When he stepped up to the driver's door, he saw the driver holding the steering wheel - which wasn't attached. My co-worker at first thought the driver had hit the wheel so hard it came off, but the driver explained that he was driving down the road and suddenly the steering wheel came off! Thankfully he missed the trees while he was skidding to a stop.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Automobiles have some great failure modes. I have twice witnessed a vehicle losing a wheel because the axle sheared off.

        Some proponents of autonomous vehicles have suggested that inter-vehicle communication and the always-attentive autonomous control systems will enable close-following convoying, eliminating traffic controls at intersections, etc. That sort of thing breaks down pretty badly when one vehicle suffers a sudden catastrophic failure.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Automobiles have some great failure modes. I have twice witnessed a vehicle losing a wheel because the axle sheared off.

          I missed my chance to see that. Several years before the bicycle incident we got held up on the M5 heading north from Exeter when the axle fell off a dumper truck and bounced along with two wheels into the fields. Sadly I missed the whole thing (probably lying down in an attempt to minimise motion sickness).

          The only thing I can remember is my Dad being pleased because we were towing a caravan and the brake had successfully operated.

    3. Intractable Potsherd

      My dad's Ford Consul sometime in the late '60s/early' 70s - travelling down a local A-road a few days after some work had been done (I was too young to know what) by his mechanic. Suddenly, the horn started randomly blaring, and then the steering wheel came off in his hands. Luckily, the road was (still is) well-cambered with a wide grass verge, so the car pulled itself off the road! On prising off the centre boss, there was the nut rattling around - it seems that whatever work had been done, the steering wheel had been loosened or removed, but not properly tightened. The horn going off should have been a warning (to the driver), because it was caused by the wheel rocking and putting the two rings of the horn connector together...

  2. alain williams Silver badge

    Would it not be great ...

    if software vendors behaved like this when some dangerous flaw was found in their products.

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Re: Would it not be great ...

      "NOTICE: The FSSA (Federal Software Safety Association) is hereby mandating a recall of every single copy of Microsoft Windows 8, 10 and 11 because extensive user testing in the field has shown a slight risk of bugs. OwnersLeasors will be notified by post beginning on December 10th to bring the software back to their reseller for installation of a giant yellow DO NOT USE OFFROAD, ONROAD, IN OFFICE, AT HOME, WHILE PREGNANT, UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF ALCOHOL, WHILE SOBER, OR WHILE ALIVE warning label. In the meantime, please avoid using this software as much as possible."

      1. spireite Silver badge

        Re: Would it not be great ...

        NOTICE: The FSSA (Federal Software Safety Association) is hereby mandating a recall of every single copy of Microsoft Windows 8, 10 and 11

        DO NOT USE.

        FTFY

      2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: Would it not be great ...

        "Leasors"

        Minor niggle. It's lessors. Or, if you are from a certain demographic, losers :-)

    2. Robert Grant

      Re: Would it not be great ...

      Probably best to patch the software instead of recalling it.

    3. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Would it not be great ...

      We can have that. We'd just need regulation to require it. That's why recalls happen with auto makers: because government turns an externality into a direct cost.

      It's not a matter of will on the part of either automakers or software manufacturers. It's economics.

  3. Pirate Dave Silver badge
    Pirate

    Ford

    I remember Ford had a similar issue with their Escape SUVs back in the late 90's or early 2000's. The wrench-monkeys at the factory had put some steering wheel nuts on upside down, and when they torqued them to spec, some would crack and eventually break. Probably not a good thing to happen when going 70 MPH. I only remember this because I had been looking for a new vehicle at the time and considered the Escape until I heard about that recall. Decided maybe Quality wasn't really Job 1 at Ford anymore...

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Ford

      "Quality IS Job 1 for us. Why, every single one of these vehicles is a quality Escape..."

      1. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

        "Quality IS Job 1 for us. Why, every single one of these vehicles is a quality Escape...from life"

        FTFY.

        1. David 132 Silver badge

          Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

          I had an Escape once as a Hertz rental. This was about 8 years ago, so it would have been a 2013-ish vehicle I guess.

          My goodness, it was dreadful. The plastic in the interior was of Fisher-Price quality - actually, that's not true, because F-P wouldn't use such scratchy plastics with sharp unbevelled edges - and uniformly grey. The whole car was "meh" in automotive four-wheel drive form.

          1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

            Rental agencies demand bottom of the barrel specs - because only cost matters

            Car makers build crappy quality vehicles because they are going to be changed out after 9 months and the rental company is only buying on price.

            And of course nobody's first experience of driving new model XYZ is based on having rented one ....

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

              "Rental agencies demand bottom of the barrel specs - because only cost matters"

              Here in the UK, whenever I've had hire cars, they are invariable at lest mid-range and almost invariably a grade or two higher than the requested grade for the same price. Getting a hire at relatively short notice (a week or two), even when only wanted for a day or two usually means you get a free upgrade because most hire companies in the UK seem to run with barely enough stock. On the other hand, returns didn't seem to be a high priority. I well remember one hire company phoning me a week or so after the off-hire asking me where the car was. I told them I had emailed and phoned them at the drop-off time informing therm it was at the dealers where I'd picked it up from as per the hire agreement. It had been "lost" for at least a week.

            2. J. Cook Silver badge

              Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

              I had the misfortune of having a rental Ford Focus many years back when the model had been first introduced as a result of a car wreck; the Focus had an underpowered engine, anemic slushbox of a transmission, and was in almost every way something I would never have driven on a permanent basis. I got better performance (and mileage!) manually running the slushbox in the three-four gears available to me.

              While I've largely sworn off of Ford as a brand, I am interested in how well the EV iteration of their F150 works out; Ford seems to be doing something practical in offering a 'work truck' iteration of it that's priced for mere mortals. (The GM offering relies FAR too much on a brand label that used to mean military grade quality, but now is just an overpriced, overfluffed thing.)

              1. J. Cook Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: Ford (Found On Roadside Dead)

                My parting comment after I returned that rental was "It needs to Focus on being a car."

                My mother had an 1998 Aspire at the time; My running joke on it was "It aspires to be a car some day. It was a pink jellybean of a car with no A/C and manual gearbox, and had the best mileage I've ever seen because of it. It just was not a good car to drive in Arizona summers...

                (She traded it for a 2004 Saturn ION, which lasted her until after she was unable to drive due to health problems; I ended up donating it to a place for the tax write off after finding that it needed over six thousand US rubles for it's many mechanical issues, and that wasn't counting a bunch of issues with the worn out interior...)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: Ford

      Wrench monkeys? WRENCH MONKEYS?.

      You "work" in I.T? In what way are you superior to the "wrench monkeys"?

      Guess you have never heard that the abbreviation I.T. actually is a short way of saying "It Talks"

      1. Pirate Dave Silver badge

        Re: Ford

        LOL? Sorry if I triggered you, but that's what we called them when I was in welding school. Well...that's what we called them when we were being friendly anyways.

    3. KBeee

      Re: Ford

      I guess even this is better than the Good Old Days when a major US car manufacturer figured out it was cheaper to pay compensation to families of people killed due to a fault, than to fix the fault.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bit of a shame..

    .. but probably to be expected in a v1.

    It's a shame, I rather like Rivian as they have at least original ideas.

    I wonder is how they discover these things. It's not like it's plain to see.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How to find a fault !!!

    "... how they discover these things. It's not like it's plain to see."

    Usually, whoops .... it came off in my hand ... honest !!!

    (Probably, the steering wheel came off while the cars were being moved for delivery !!!)

    :)

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    At last…

    …a true recall. None of those wimpy over the air update "recalls" of a well-known mass manufacturer of electric vehicles. :)

  7. Tromos
    Joke

    Rivian's least favourite movie?

    Total Recall

  8. Hopping Bunny

    Voice from Google Maps: At the intersection, turn right.

    Me: Turning the steering wheel right.

    Rivian AI: Nope. We are going left.

  9. Ian Johnston Silver badge

    I appears that the issue is a spontaneously disconnecting universal joint (= 'knuckle') in the steering column. The nut behind the steering wheel is not the problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > The nut behind the steering wheel is not the problem.

      It is, in that it's he who risks getting hurt.

  10. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
    Facepalm

    A loose nut behind the steering wheel?

    The sub-head, article and comment quality has degraded since El Reg went American :-)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A loose nut behind the steering wheel?

      I'd make a joke about truck nuts, but that would be just picking the low hanging fruit...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: A loose nut behind the steering wheel?

      I wish you were joking :(

  11. Captain Scarlet Silver badge
    Coat

    Hangon

    If its an EV surely instead of sending a letter, they can give the driver a warning there and then?

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