Rivian Automotive, Inc., a Tesla competitor, will recall 13,000 vehicles after a structural manufacturing error was discovered in seven vehicles, the company announced in emails to customers and employees.
Insider reviewed an internal email sent to employees by Chief Executive Officer RJ Scaringe on Friday, which stated that the fastener to the front steering wheel “may not have been sufficiently torqued” when the vehicles were manufactured.
“In rare cases, the fastener has completely loosened,” Scaringe wrote. “I’d like to emphasise that this is extremely rare, but it underscores why we’re acting with urgency and caution.”
A spokesperson for Rivian told Insider that the recall is voluntary and that the cost of making the change is “not material.” Vehicle inspections at Rivian Service Centers would take a few minutes and would be free, according to a spokesperson.
“The recall will have no effect on production because Rivian has stopped producing vehicles with insufficiently torqued steering knuckle fasteners, so this issue is not expected to persist,” a spokesperson for Rivian told Insider.
Rivian, a company backed by Amazon and Ford, has faced challenges this year, including customer backlash after raising its pre-order prices – and then backtracking – in March 2022. In addition, the company laid off 6% of its workforce and faced a slew of shareholder lawsuits alleging that it artificially inflated its share price and underpriced its cars.
Following a difficult start to the year, the company saw a 47% increase in car deliveries in the third quarter compared to the second.
According to Markets Insider, analyst estimates show Rivian lost more than $3 billion in the first half of 2022.