Rivian issues first-ever recall over front airbag sensor issue

A Rivian R1T pickup truck is shown in this file photo.
A Rivian R1T pickup truck is shown in this file photo.(MGN)
Published: May. 12, 2022 at 2:39 PM EDT
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NORMAL, Ill. (WEEK/Gray News) - Electric vehicle maker Rivian has issued its first-ever vehicle recall over concerns about a sensor for the front airbag malfunctioning in certain R1T vehicles.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says the Occupant Classification System on R1Ts produced from Sept. 21 through April 12 may not deactivate the airbag when a child or child seat occupies the front passenger seat. The recall affects 502 vehicles.

As of May 10, Rivian said it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to the issue.

The company will begin notifying affected customers not to seat children or use child seats in the passenger seat of the affected vehicles via emails, texts, and in-vehicle messaging on the center display as soon as possible. Rivian will mail notifications on or before July 1.

The supplier for the sensor has assumed the cost of seat replacement, according to a Rivian spokesperson.

Jesse White, the secretary of state for Illinois – where Rivian has a manufacturing plant – advises children to be kept in rear-facing safety seats for as long as possible, kept in the back seat through at least age 12 and to never place a rear-facing safety seat in front of an active airbag.

The Rivian spokesperson said in a statement:

“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.”

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