Updated 6:35 PM ET: Rivian statement added and lede and headline updated for accuracy.
Rivian Automotive said it would recall 502 2022 R1T all-electric trucks in a recall issued by the NHTSA on May 10. The R1T may have improperly calibrated front passenger airbags due to a miscalibrated seat sensor, a defect that will require Rivian to replace the front passenger seat free of charge.
“Rivian Automotive, LLC (Rivian) is recalling certain 2022 R1T vehicles,” the recall summary on the NHTSA website states. “The Occupant Classification System (OCS) may not deactivate the airbag when a child or child seat occupies the front passenger seat. As such, these vehicles fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, ‘Occupant Crash Protection.'”
The recall will require R1T owners to visit any of the automaker’s service centers across the country for a free replacement of the entire front passenger seat.
In the Safety Recall Report issued by the agency, it said Rivian vehicles produced from September 21, 2021, to May 12, 2022, would be possibly affected by the airbag defect. Rivian stopped building vehicles with suspect seat assemblies on May 12. The population of 502 vehicles was determined by supplier seat manufacturing records, seat calibration data, and Rivian component traceability information. “Due to a defect during supplier manufacturing of the seat, the calibration of the OCS does not perform consistently,” the description of the cause said.
Rivian lists its supplier for the tainted part as Hyundai Transys Michigan, LLC. According to the filing, “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.” MGA Research Corporation then provided Rivian with a report in April 2022 that included test results that indicated the airbag may not be automatically deactivated when it was tested. Rivian said that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.
Rivian told Teslarati:
”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.”
The risk of safety caused by the airbag is due to the possible deployment of an airbag if a child or child seat occupies the front passenger seat of the vehicle. Airbags are dangerous for children age 12 and younger, according to the CDC. The agency also recommends never putting a rear-facing car seat in front of an airbag, as front passenger airbags can injure or even kill young children in the event of a crash.
Rivian will also be reimbursing owners for previous out-of-pocket repairs. However, the OCS and passenger seat for vehicles affected in the recall also are covered under the automaker’s 5-year/60,000-mile limited warranty.
Rivian will begin notifying affected customers not to seat children or child seats in the front passenger seat of affected vehicles as soon as possible through text, emails, and in-vehicle messaging. Rivian’s notifications will mail to owners starting on or before July 1.
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