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Rivian Recalls 500 R1T Electric Trucks for Airbag Deactivation Issues

The airbags may not properly deactivate when a child is seated up front.

Rivian R1T electric truck climbing a dirt grade
Until the remedy has been performed, Rivian suggests keeping children and child seats from the front passenger seat.
Rivian

Front passenger seats generally have sensors that know when to deactivate the front passenger airbag, whether it's because the seat is empty or there's a child up front. Those sensors are at the center of a new recall from an equally new automaker.

Rivian this week announced a recall for 502 examples of the Rivian R1T electric pickup truck. The affected vehicles carry build dates between Sept. 21, 2021 and April 12, 2022.

According to the recall report filed with NHTSA, the issue stems from the occupant sensor in the front passenger seat assembly. The affected vehicles have seats that may not be calibrated correctly, which could cause the airbag to stay activated after a child or child seat is placed up front. Since airbags activate with great force, this can increase the risk of injury in the event of a crash.

Rivian first took notice of the issue in March, when it found issues with occupant sensor performance. After a third-party testing company noted similar issues, the company determined that its vehicles might be out of federal compliance, and thus a recall was initiated.

Thankfully, the fix is pretty straightforward. Rivian will take all affected vehicles and swap out the passenger seat for one with the correct sensor calibrations. Every vehicle covered by this recall is still under warranty, so nobody should have paid for a fix before the recall was announced.

Until the solution can be implemented, Rivian recommends that R1T owners not place children or child seats in the front row. A customer can tell if their vehicle is malfunctioning based on whether or not the airbag-disengagement lamp illuminates appropriately in the gauge cluster. According to the defect report, owners should start receiving notifications for the recall this summer.