The owner of a Rivian R1S electric SUV was overjoyed to have his dream electric vehicle after waiting for years. But after owning the car for just days, it got stuck in the snow and immobilized by a safety feature, leading to a $2,100 bill to transport it to a repair facility.
Business Insider reports that a recent incident involving an owner of a Rivian R1S has forced the maker of the electric vehicles to examine its customer service more carefully and think about making changes to improve the user experience. The owner of an R1S truck, Chase Merrill, encountered a difficult situation when his electric SUV got stuck in deep snow and a safety feature rendered it immobile.
In an interview with Insider, Merrill explains that he was initially overjoyed with his new R1S, saying: “I was in a honeymoon phase. It’s an incredible car, and it handles unlike anything I’ve ever driven.” However, when the car got stuck in 2.5 feet of snow, his love affair with the truck promptly ended. Merrill commented on his expectations, stating: “I had seen all the Rivian marketing campaigns with the cars just eating through the snow, so it was kind of like, man, this is disappointing.”
When the Rivian truck became stuck in the snow, a safety feature immobilized the vehicle. The vehicle displayed a critical error and indicated it would have to be taken to a service center. Merrill later suggested that a straightforward reset might have fixed the problem, but Rivian’s customer service did not mention that option during his initial call.
The vehicle had to be loaded onto a flatbed truck and transported to a service center located hundreds of miles away from the incident. The bill to transport the electric truck totaled $2,100, a smack in the face for Merrill, who had just taken possession of the truck in the few days preceding the incident.
This incident has drawn attention to the difficulties Rivian has had maintaining customer satisfaction due to delays in production, delivery, and customer support. Early supporters of the company have previously stated that they have lost interest, and some have made alternative plans to buy other electric cars.
Wassym Bensaid, Rivian’s senior vice president of software development, acknowledged the unfortunate incident, telling Insider, “There was an unfortunate cascade of events and edge cases that led to this situation. But we take this feedback as a gift. It’s great input for us to improve the product.”
Breitbart News reported in October that Rivian was forced to recall almost all trucks it had ever produced due to a flaw that could result in a loss of control:
Rivian Automotive, an EV startup founded in 2009, is recalling roughly 13,000 vehicles built in 2021 and 2022 after it was discovered that a fastener connecting the upper control arm and steering knuckle may have been improperly installed, according to multiple reports including the Wall Street Journal.
While there have been several reports from customers possibly related to the issue, there are no known injuries stemming from the problem, a Rivian spokesperson said.
Earlier this month, Rivian reported disappointing earnings that sent its stock price tumbling:
CNBC reports that the electric vehicle startup Rivian released mixed fourth-quarter earnings on Tuesday, which led to a decline of about 16.6 percent in its stock price during morning trading on Wednesday.
Rivian only managed to make $663 million in revenue when analysts were expecting the company to report revenue of $742.4 million. Although the company’s revenue was off the mark, its adjusted loss per share was lower than anticipated, at $1.73 instead of the estimated $1.94.
The adjusted loss before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization reported by Rivian for 2022 was close to $5.2 billion, which was less than the guidance of a $5.4 billion loss provided in November.
Read more at Business Insider here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan