UPDATE: Rivian went public with the recall and revealed additional details about its cause. The automaker said a sensor in the front passenger seat belt system may incorrectly report its status as "on" when, in fact, it is off.

Since the system may not register the status correctly, it may cause the passenger airbag not to deploy as intended. Needless to say, an improperly deployed airbag can increase the risk of injury during a crash. 

Rivian has started to inform owners of 2022 R1S and R1T vehicles of a voluntary recall it has initiated over potentially faulty passenger seat belt system components.

In an email sent to InsideEVs senior editor Tom Moloughney, who owns a Rivian R1T pickup, Rivian said certain model year 2022 R1S and R1T vehicles fail to conform with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 208 "Occupant Crash Protection."

The recall affects 12,716 vehicles, but Rivian believes less than 1 percent of those – fewer than 100 vehicles – will actually require part replacement.

"While the number of vehicles impacted is very limited, we will always exercise caution when it comes to safety," Rivian wrote in the email, adding that it is not aware of any accidents or injuries related to this issue as of February 27, 2023.

Rivian did not go into detail regarding the exact issue that may affect the recalled vehicles, noting that it's about "passenger seat belt system components." Owners whose vehicles are included in the recall are required to visit Rivian Service Centers and pop-up locations with no appointment necessary up to 6 days a week, Monday through Saturday.

During the visits, their vehicles will be inspected and passenger seat belt system components will be replaced if necessary. Rivian notes that if vehicles are not brought in for inspection, they will be inspected for this issue at a future service appointment.

The company estimates that inspections will take less than 10 minutes, while part replacements (if necessary) will be completed in less than 30 minutes during the same visit. Obviously, the service will be available at no cost to customers. Owners are required to install the latest software update to their vehicles before the visit. 

In September 2022, Rivian issued a recall for a similar issue, albeit for a much smaller number of vehicles – 207 R1T and R1S EVs. At the time, the automaker said the seat belt adjuster bolt for the driver and front passenger may come loose under load, for example in an accident, preventing the belts from restraining occupants. 

The EV startup did not say if the latest recall is related to the one from last year.

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