A customer had only a brief pleasure with his Rivian electric SUV. Just one day after delivery, the RS1 gave up the ghost in a blizzard. (Symbolic photo) © IMAGO/Richard B. Levine
With the electric SUV from Tesla competitor Rivian, a customer was not happy for very long. Just one day after delivery, the electric car gave up the ghost.
Stuttgart/Plymouth - Some car models have already generated such hype long before delivery that some customers want to get hold of one of the first models from production if possible. In March 2022, a Swabian drove from Baden-Württemberg to Grünheide to receive his Tesla directly from Elon Musk. However, there may still be quality defects in the first models of a margin, as Tesla doc Ove Kröger also noticed when he took a closer look at one of the first Tesla Model Y from Grünheide.
A customer of Tesla's competitor Rivian, for which Bosch also builds electric motors in the USA, had already pre-ordered his R1S electric SUV three years before delivery, as Insider reports. Initially, the U.S. citizen was hesitant as to whether he should really trade in his 2015 Ford Edge with an internal combustion engine for a fully electric vehicle. After delivery, the 24-year-old was very satisfied with the Rivian, according to the report, but the joy did not last long.
Rivian's electric SUV gets stuck in a blizzard – quickly pursue initial euphoria
The US start-up Rivian has a very manageable product portfolio with just two e-car models – an SUV and a pick-up – but is considered a competitor of the industry leader Tesla and is also quite successful on the stock market. However, there is apparently still a lack of customer service, as Insider's report shows. Chase Merrill, who comes from the US state of New York, was recommended the RS1 from Rivian, which was only announced at the time, by a family member who already had a model of the brand. So Merrill took out a loan for the vehicle, which cost around 85,630 US dollars (about 78,150 euros).
|Name||Rivian Automotive, LLC|
|Head office||Plymouth, Michigan, United States|
|Well-known models||R1T (Pick-up Truck), R1S (SUV)|
|Colleague||11,500 (March 2022)|
|Turnover||$55 million (2022)|
His initial doubts as to whether an electric vehicle was right for him evaporated as soon as he sat behind the wheel of the car after delivery on 10 March. "It's an incredible car and it drives unlike anything I've ever driven," he told Insider. However, the joy did not last long, as he was caught in a snowstorm just one day later while driving in the hilly areas of the state, and the electric SUV suddenly stopped. E-cars don't necessarily have to be at a disadvantage, a Porsche Taycan even rescued a combustion BMW from a snowstorm.
"Snow Mode" leaves customers in the lurch – rescuing the e-SUV from a blizzard costs driver 2,100 dollars
Actually, one would think that even an electric SUV could cope with a snowstorm in the hilly areas of the state of New York, especially since the manufacturer had advertised exactly this in a commercial. For this purpose, Rivian's models have a so-called "Snow Mode", which is specially designed for driving in such scenarios. In the case of Chase Merrill, however, that apparently didn't help either. "I had seen the Rivian marketing campaigns where the cars just ate their way through the snow," he said. "So it was kind of disappointing."
Since the electric SUV couldn't make it out of the blizzard under its own power, Merrill contacted another vehicle to help it. When trying to pull the Rivian out of the snow, the new owner said he came up with a button that completely sealed off the RS1 and made it immobile. The vehicle therefore had to be taken by a towing service to a service center several hundred kilometers away, which cost Merrill $2,100 in fees, according to the report. According to the report, however, Rivian has since reacted and explained that the function is intended precisely to lock down the vehicle.
However, the fact that the lockdown can be deactivated just as quickly was not explained by Merrill customer service during a phone call. The U.S. manufacturer has even told Insider that it wants to cover the service fees; however, the customer is apparently still not sure whether the e-SUV is the right vehicle for him. "This is a very impressive car and I want the company to do well," he said. "I don't think I'm the right person to be one of the first buyers."