Rivian has “recalled” 1,463 R1T and R1S vehicles to fix a defroster bug, as a recent update may have deactivated both the defroster and defogger system controls.
We use the quotations around the word “recall” because this issue will be fixed with an Over-the-Air software update and is a continuation of the intense debate around terminology, as many companies are able to fix vehicle issues through software downloads.
The issue affects 2022-2023 vehicle models and was affected by the 2023.42 Software Update that was pushed on November 13. “Within two hours of the OTA push, Rivian identified it as impacting the vehicles’ infotainment system. Upon realizing the issue, Rivian immediately canceled the OTA update. The suspect population is the vehicle count for which the update was installed before Rivian canceled it,” documents describing the issue from the NHTSA state.
There have been no instances of crashes, injuries, or fatalities related to the condition, the agency also writes in its Safety Recall Report.
The issue has already been remedied and a new software update labeled as version 2023.42.02 has been rolled out. Rivian said it is “committed to reimbursing owners for previous out-of-pocket repairs.”
The issue is one of many instances where people are calling for an update in terminology with the word “recall,” as a software update has fixed many issues with Tesla vehicles as well.
CEO Elon Musk said that recall terminology is in need of modernization on several occasions. In February, he said:
“Definitely. The word “recall” for an over-the-air software update is anachronistic and just flat wrong!”
He has also referred to “recall” for software updates as “outdated and inaccurate.”
But the NHTSA says differently. The agency told Teslarati in early 2022 that recall can apply to any repair, including a software update. The agency’s description of a recall, unfortunately, still includes something that can be fixed without the vehicle ever having to leave its garage or parking spot and can be remedied through a simple download and installation.
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