Rivian Recalling Nearly All of Its Vehicles

Rivian Automotive Inc.

RIVN -7.64%

is recalling nearly all of its vehicles to address a potential problem that could cause customers to lose steering control, the company said Friday.

The maker of electric trucks and SUVs said the recall was made after it was discovered that a fastener connecting the upper control arm and steering knuckle may have been installed incorrectly. In rare cases, the problem could cause a loss of steering control, the company said.

The recall covers about 13,000 vehicles built in the 2021 and 2022 calendar years, and there are no known injuries related to the defect, a company spokeswoman said.

Rivian currently sells three all-electric models: a pickup truck, an SUV and a commercial van.

The safety recall comes at a critical time for Rivian, which is ramping up production at its plant in Normal, Illinois, in a push to meet its full-year production goal of 25,000 vehicles.

Chief Executive RJ Scaringe is under pressure to prove to Wall Street that he can grow from a start-up to a maker of trucks and SUVs. Rivian went public last year in a wildly successful initial offering that briefly boosted its valuation to more than $100 billion, larger than that of many established auto companies.

But this year has proved more difficult with Rivian struggling to master the intricacies of car manufacturing. It has been slowly increasing monthly output, although supply chain bottlenecks, particularly in semiconductors, continued to hamper its acceleration and drive up costs.

Rivian produced just over 14,000 vehicles in the first three quarters of this year. The challenges have weighed on the automaker’s share price, which is down nearly 67% this year.

The Irvine, Calif.-based company was the largest of a handful of electric vehicle startups to catch Wall Street’s attention in recent years as investors sought to capitalize on the growth prospects of electric vehicles . But their valuations have fallen sharply as the young companies have suffered from supply chain constraints and manufacturing setbacks.

The safety recall comes at a critical time for Rivian, which is ramping up production at its plant in Normal, Illinois, in a push to meet its full-year production goal of 25,000 vehicles.



Recalls are common in the auto industry, especially on new vehicles, and this type of defect is one that many manufacturers have encountered in the past. Still, because Rivian only sells a handful of models and its delivery volumes are still relatively small, its impact on operations is magnified.

Rivian said it sent an email about the recall to all affected customers.

“The safety of our customers will always be our highest priority and we are committed to fixing this issue in any affected vehicles as soon as possible,” the company said.

In a letter to customers, Rivian’s chief executive urged customers to stop driving their vehicles if they have steering or suspension problems. “It is important not to minimize the potential risks involved and why we are volunteering to undertake this recall,” wrote Mr. Scaringe.

This is the company’s third recall since vehicle production began late last year. In May, Rivian recalled about 500 vehicles after discovering a problem that could cause passenger airbags to fail. In August, the company recalled more than 200 vehicles after discovering problems with the installation of seat belt anchors in some vehicles.

Rivan said he expects the financial impact of the recall to be negligible and expects to perform checks on all of his vehicles within 30 days.

Normally, these repairs would be carried out by an automaker’s dealer network, but Rivian has chosen not to use an independent dealer network to sell or service its vehicles. Rivian said customers can bring their vehicles to service centers or the company will send mobile repair vans to customers.

Other automakers in recent months have also had problems with parts being installed incorrectly. Toyota Motor body

in June it recalled nearly all of its new battery-powered SUVs, the bZ4X, after discovering that improperly installed bolts could cause the wheel to come off.

Toyota restarted production of the vehicle on Thursday.

Write to Sean McLain at sean.mclain@wsj.com

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