Rivian is recalling 502 R1Ts because the front passenger airbag may not deactivate in the presence of a child or child seat, according to documents posted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Rivian says it isn’t aware of any accidents or injuries related to the recall.
A NHTSA document gives the following chronology:
The potentially affected vehicle production period began on September 21, 2021, when Rivian Automotive, LLC (“Rivian”) started to build vehicles with the suspect seat assemblies and ended on April 12, 2022, when Rivian stopped building with the suspect seat assemblies. The suspect population was determined using the supplier’s seat manufacturing records, seat calibration data, and Rivian component traceability information.
In March 2022, deviations in the OCS performance were identified in the seat production by Rivian.
Subsequently, the calibration system was investigated to evaluate root cause.
In late April 2022, MGA Research Corporation provided a report to Rivian that included test results indicating the passenger air bag may not be deactivated automatically when a suspect seat was tested in accordance with the FMVSS 208 low risk deployment requirement.
In May 2022, Rivian determined that a potential noncompliance to FMVSS 208, Occupant crash protection cannot be ruled out.
In the same document, it says that Rivian will replace the front passenger seat free of charge, and will send out notifications to affected owners by June 1. Separately, Rivian released the following statement on the matter:
Rivian has determined that on certain R1T vehicles, the front passenger seat may not deactivate the front passenger airbag as required if a child seat or child is in that seat. In the event of a crash which deploys the front passenger airbag, a seat with this improper calibration may increase the risk of injury for any child or child seat occupant sitting in the seat. We are contacting those with affected Rivian vehicles, and they will receive a passenger seat replacement free of charge at a Rivian service center. In the meantime, infants and children should not be placed in the front passenger seat of affected Rivian vehicles until a front passenger seat replacement is complete.
This is, according to NHTSA data, Rivian’s first-ever recall, so welcome to the party, Rivian. Everyone knows, of course, that you’re not a real automaker until you do a recall.