Rivian recalls 502 R1T trucks due to an airbag sensor issue

Airbags may not disable correctly when a child sits up front in affected vehicles.

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Rivian R1T electric pickup truck
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Rivian is recalling some of its R1T electric trucks because of an issue with airbag sensors. The vehicle may not disable an airbag when a child is sitting up front, according to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration filing spotted by The Verge. This is Rivian's first recall and it covers 502 R1T vehicles that were built between September 2021 and April 2022.

Although the NHTSA recommends that children aged under 13 should be in the back seat, that's not always possible for various reasons. Airbags, which can deploy even in a minor accident, can injure or kill children who are sitting in the front seat. 

Rivian said the recalled vehicles "fail to comply with the requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard number 208, 'Occupant Crash Protection.'" The company said no injuries have been associated with the issue. 

The front passenger seats in the recalled EVs will be replaced for free at Rivian service centers — it currently has 20 of those in the US. The company said it will inform affected customers by phone, email, text and in-vehicle messaging as soon as possible. It will also mail notices to them by July 1st.

A Rivian spokesperson sent Engadget the following 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.

Update 5/12 2:29PM ET: Added Rivian's statement.

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