Rivian buys back nightmare R1T after harrowing year of issues
Rivian has faced a number of issues as the electric car startup continues to make a name for itself in the automotive industry. While most owners merely faced issues with their tonneau covers, Mitch Dumke has had far more severe issues pop up with his.
As a result of the continued problems the rancher faced, and all the lost productivity caused, Rivian has agreed to repurchase the electric pickup truck at full price. In a video review posted on YouTube, Dumke mentions that he has had to have the R1T towed on four separate occasions, with the issue in each towing relating to the braking system or a drive unit.
Dumke admits that he used the truck heavily — probably more heavily than the average person, considering he put over 24,000 miles (38,624 km) on the EV in around 15 months, all while hauling tools, towing trailers, and carrying heavy cargo in the bed.
According to Dumke, each time his R1T needed to be towed, a message appeared on the screen telling him to pull over and secure the vehicle. After pulling over, the truck would not start moving again, usually accompanied by a “Driving Disabled” message. Dumke would then have to secure the wheels, since the vehicle was basically in neutral during these periods.
In total, Dumke estimates that he spent about 45 days in a period of three months driving a rental while the Rivian was in for repairs.
To Rivian's credit, Dumke praises Rivian's customer support. Support covered the cost of a Lyft or Uber in each case, as well as providing the tow truck. When Dumke contacted Rivian with his complaints about the failures of the truck, stating that he did not feel comfortable driving it or selling it, Rivian ultimately decided to buy the electric pickup truck back at full retail price.
Rivian agreed to buy the truck back, even though the way things played out meant that Ohio's lemon law would not force the company to replace the EV.
Dumke also gave some insights into what it was like driving his R1T, aside from the numerous issues he encountered. Like many other Rivian owners, his tonneau cover gave up the ghost early on in his ownership journey, and he bemoans the tailgate not closing when the bed is loaded with fine particulates or snow.
On a more positive note, Dumke raves about the convenience of the locked storage in the gear tunnel and software updates that have added towing-related functionality to the infotainment system.
Despite all the issues he encountered, Dumke recommends the vehicle to prospective buyers on the market for an electric pickup truck, even if he will be moving on to a more affordable vehicle to accommodate his growing family. He also offers the sage advice that anyone looking at buying an electric truck consider a smaller vehicle if they are at all concerned about efficiency, since a smaller car can be twice as efficient as an electric pickup truck.