2022 Rivian R1T Problems and Top Complaints – Is Your Car A Lemon?

Forward collision avoidance, electrical system, airbag, and steering issues are main causes of complaints received by the NHTSA from vehicle owners

Updated on Author: Brian Jones | Reviewer: Sergei Lemberg

The launch Rivian R1T is making waves in more ways than one. With Amazon.com being its biggest shareholder, and Ford Motor Company owning half as much as Amazon, it’s an interesting venture. Forbes Wheels named it the Electric Vehicle of the Year because they say it “a stylish, capable, and innovative vehicle in its own right.” But consumers rushing out to buy the Rivian R1T are picking up all kinds of issues. Complaints include safety features that don’t work, airbags that don’t detect people, and steering that fails.

Most Common Problems with the 2022 Rivian R1T

Looking at the list of complaints forwarded to the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA), it’s clear that there are lots of things wrong with the new Rivian R1T. While some categories have more complaints than others, numbers don’t indicate much. The components and systems that owners have identified are airbags, back-over prevention, the electrical system, engine, exterior lighting, forward-collision avoidance, lane departure, powertrain, seats, service brakes, steering, vehicle speed control, and visibility/wiper. A complaint filed as something that is “unknown or other” related to windshield chips.

At this early stage, there aren’t a lot of typical issues to highlight. But we will highlight a few of them.

There are, though, 4 recalls for this new car on the block that relate to airbags, seats and seat belts, steering, and suspension.

2022 Rivian R1T Recalls

The most serious recall affecting the launch model of the Rivian R1T was issued on October 6, 2022. NHTSA Campaign Number 22V744000 states that the steering knuckle and control arm may separate. If this happens, it may cause a loss of vehicle control and would increase the risk of a crash.

A total of 12,212 Rivian vehicles are affected, which, according to reports, are just about all the vehicles that have been delivered to customers. Dealers are expected to inspect the vehicles when owners bring them in, and tighten the steering knuckle fastener free of charge.

Another recall relates to seat belts. Only 207 2022 R1T and R1S vehicles are affected. But it’s a real problem because the front seat belt anchors may not have been properly attached to the B-pillar of the car.

There are also 2 recalls related to airbags. The one affects 12,716 Rivian R1T and R1S 2022 models. This states that a faulty automatic locking retractor sensor in the front passenger seat belt system may incorrectly report as on when it is actually off. This would cause the suppression or improper deployment of the air bag. If this happened, there would be an increased risk of injury to anyone sitting in the front seat.

The other refers to an improperly calibrated front passenger airbag, and it affects 473 vehicles. The problem here is that in a crash, the airbag may not activate if there is a child or child seat in the front passenger seat. The risk is the same as that described above.

There are also several complaints about airbags that state that they don’t detect people including children.

2022 Rivian R1T Complaint Summary

Complaint CategoryNumber of Complaints
Forward Collision Avoidance: Adaptive Cruise Control
7
Forward Collision Avoidance: Warnings
4
Air Bags
3
Steering
3
Unknown Or Other
3
Back Over Prevention: Warnings
2
Electrical System
2
Forward Collision Avoidance: Automatic Emergency Braking
2
Power Train
2
Seats
2

Forward Collision Avoidance Problems

Complaints about forward collision avoidance issue so far all report crashes. But the issues all differ, at least a bit.

An early complaint was from an owner in California who had issues with the driver assistance system, Rivian Driver+ (D+). There was lots of confusion, but ultimately, this person found that the vehicle slowed down “aggressively” without the driver needing to press the brake pedal. “This results in unpredictable and unexpected behavior of the vehicle within the matter of a few seconds. When the driver thinks they are disabling D+, they are unexpectedly putting the vehicle in reverse, so when accelerating from the stop caused by D+ the vehicle moves in reverse. This is most prevalent when using D+ in stop/go to light traffic and resulted in reversing on the freeway into another vehicle.”

The issue resulted in a crash, fortunately without injuries.

Another complaint that reports 2 injuries states that when the brake was released, before the driver stepped on the accelerator, “the R1T surged at a high rate of speed hitting the car straight on, deploying the airbags in the car and blowing the rear window out of the car. The car was pushed past an empty space, 20 ft or more, into another parked car. This all happened in 2-4 seconds.”

Not only was the car totaled, the driver was taken to hospital with minor neck and back injuries. According to the complaint, Rivian wouldn’t accept responsibility and there are still a lot of open-ended issues.

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Electrical System Problems

One of the electrical system complaints tells how the digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen turns off spontaneously. When this happens, the driver can’t access the instrument cluster.

Another complaint tells how the truck stopped suddenly without warning on a busy LA street. It was “blocking a large amount of traffic and (was) too dangerous to get out due to cars rapidly passing.” While Rivian didn’t assist, the fire department eventually did. Then, the “engine light came on and said (to) call tow truck and do not drive, red lights, manual said it was dangerous.”

Steering Problems

The steering problems reported by owners range from those that cause worn tires to those that cause crashes. It’s clearly a problem.

The lesser issue is that the Rivian pulls to the right all the time. This causes a completely worn tire within one mile. “Rivian states (that) no-one but them can do an alignment and I need to drive 4.5 hrs each way to get (the) alignment done,” if there’s to be any reimbursement of time or the tire. The complaint states that if this is the case, “they should pick (the) truck up and fix it.”

Another potentially more serious complaint states that while making a left turn the R1T would not allow the driver to straighten the steering wheel. This resulted in the vehicle running off the road and striking a small tree. Luckily, the owner was able to drive home safely. The vehicle was diagnosed by the dealership, and the bolts of the steering system were tightened even though the manufacturer offered no assistance.

What Should You Do If Your 2022 Rivian R1T is a Lemon?

You’ve bought what the automaker promised would “enhance your wildest adventures.” But now you are wondering if your new “electric adventure vehicle” might be a lemon. There are certainly a lot of varied problems with the new Rivian R1T, but what makes it a lemon?

We don’t have a comprehensive list of every possible lemon issue, so we can’t tell you exactly what to look for. But, we can tell you that if you are experiencing problems that affect your use of the R1T or its value, that might be the factor you should focus on.

Lemberg Law has negotiated thousands of settlements with manufacturers and can help you too. So, if you think you have bought a lemon, contact us asap. We’ll do a free assessment of your case and give you immediate feedback. Ultimately, the law will make Rivian pay your bill if it’s a lemon law case.

So, what are you waiting for? Fill out a contact form or call or Helpline now.

Brian Jones

About the Author:

Brian Jones spent more than 30 years working as an ASE Certified Master Tech and Parts Specialist at multiple dealerships. Brian has become an authority in the industry, traveling across the country to consult for car dealerships and contributing his expertise as a writer for several major automotive publications. In his spare time, Brian enjoys working on pickup trucks, muscle cars, Jeeps and anything related to motorsports.

See more posts from Brian Jones
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