Owner’s Rivian R1T in Shop 8 Months.

Rivian Fails to Return Owner’s Side Camera After a Year.

Come June 2022, the elation of Utah native Michael Holbrook was palpable as he took delivery of his fresh Rivian R1T Launch Edition – a vehicle that had cost him roughly $85,000 in granulated El Cap Granite paint. The pre-order wait was lengthy, at about three years, yet this moment felt well worth it. By April 2023, Holbrook had already journeyed up to 7,500 miles within his new truck.

“Holbrook was completely thrilled with the pickup truck, according to InsideEVs; who could object? The R1T gave off an extraordinary 835 hp courtesy of its four motors, and its ability to compete on par with traditional sports cars was remarkable from the driver’s perspective. He even testified to its strength in hauling skiing, mountain biking supplies, and amazingly, a snowmobile that weighed a colossal 5,000 pounds!”

Back in April 2023, the R1T had an unforeseen turn of events. At an intersection in Utah, it hit a Jeep Cherokee that was entering from the right. “We were both travelling at a very low speed, likely about five mph,” Holbrook recalled. The front right quarter panel of the R1T endured minor harm. Afterwards, he took the vehicle to an approved Rivian body store in Salt Lake City to fix the panel and replace the side camera. Unfortunately, eight months has already passed and his automobile is still with the shop.

Upon initial inspection, the auto shop realized that the impact had crimped the wiring for one of the side view cameras. Ideally, this section of the wiring would need to be swapped out in order to get the camera back online. The R1T comes with a total of eleven cameras which span the front, rear, sides and bed, offering a comprehensive 360-degree view of the vehicle.

Things got a bit chaotic here: In order to remove the side view camera, the car shop had to disassemble the cabin, taking out the chairs and dismantling the dashboard in order to replace the whole wiring. It wasn’t a quick and easy fix; it required Rivian’s exclusive Ground software. However, the workshop lacked the software, and even if they had it, the mechanics wouldn’t have known how to use it, Holbrook confirmed.

If you haven’t yet been immersed in the realm of automobiles, wiring harnesses can be compared to the veins in a human body. Simply put, they serve as the vehicle’s nervous system, providing electricity and signals to an array of components and technologies: taillights, switches, stereos, cameras – and so on. These insulated wires and connectors work dexterously in the background to move things along. However, removing the entire wiring network in order to substitute a single apparatus is, for the most part, unheard of.

It appears that Rivian is not alone as they grapple with issues regarding wiring harness design. In May 2022, Lucid had to call back a multitude of their electric sedan models due to faulty cables connecting to the gauge cluster. This hazard was generated by potential harm from steering column displacement. Even Porsche in 2022 went so far as to pull back over 40,000 Taycans upon learning that the wiring harness may be injured by seat adjustment which could then disable the airbags and pre-tensioners for the seatbelt, raising critical safety risks. Last year in 2021, owners of the Chevrolet Bolt EV even discussed on an internet forum worries of wiring harness breakdowns of their own creating security fears.

Holbrook claimed the EV was sitting at a certified crash shop for four months as Rivian had not provided the necessary computer programming. Afterwards, it was shipped to Rivian, taking an additional two months before the issue could be sorted out. “Upon the car’s return, the body shop found that Rivian had not corrected the problem properly and had caused additional damage,” he continued. “I reached out to Rivian, but they refused to talk with me. My car has been destroyed through the extensive process of being dismantled two times and rebuilt twice.”

Reaching out to Rivian, a company spokesperson commented on the newly established firm still finding its footing. Evidently, Rivian had configured a service network to address this phenomenon with convenience. Moreover, the representative attested that the Raven was sent back to Holbrook and fully renovated, albeit the client trialed it again before and detected certain faults. Furthermore, they noted this case as being peculiar. In comparison, cars entangled in accidents do not receive buybacks; consequently, after assessment by a panel, it was decided that the R1T was inadmissible for repurchase.

Rivian has released the following statement:”We are thrilled to unveil our new project. We believe that this endeavor indicates our commitment to producing extraordinary products. Our aim is to give individuals the ability to express their distinctiveness through these creations.” Rivian has joyfully presented their fresh assignment. This undertaking demonstrates their ardent devotion to creating distinguished objects. Their target is to enable people to show their uniqueness with these inventions.

Over the past eight months, Holbrook has cycled through three different automobiles; first taking an initially-insured Jeep Wrangler from Nationwide for two consecutive months. Thereafter, he kept on driving the same Wrangler but instead purchased it himself. Subsequently, Holbrook drove his son’s aged Toyota Highlander for a few months until Rivian recently provided him with a short-term R1T. Habitual connectivity and other general features are impaired to a certain amount, though Holbrook determined that it functioned correctly regardless.

It appears that Rivian is well aware of its obstacles concerning wiring harnesses. CFO Claire McDonough indicated earlier this year that the business foresees certain downtime during the 2024 summer season to switch to simpler networks and decrease the count of elements, mostly ECUs, by 60% for R1T and R1S, resulting in decreases of wire harnessages by 25%.

Tesla is likewise attempting to tackle the issue of convoluted wiring harnesses through complete refurbishment. Rumor has it that the Cybertruck will be implementing a protected wiring arrangement which is much more straightforward than Tesla’s other cars. Evidence of this was reported by AutoEvolution in the beginning of September. Practically, these decentralized controllers would make it simpler to fix, preclude manual mounting, and allow for robotic fabrication.

What forthcoming iterations of the Rivian R1T/R1S will look like has yet to be seen, but when I asked Holbrook if he would acquire one again, he responded by saying that his car felt like the “guinea pig” in this entire procedure. “I enjoy the automobile indeed. However, it could become completely useless for extended periods if anything fails. Therefore, not until they deal with these design issues.”

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