UPDATE: Rivian has come up with a fix and began pushing out an OTA update to solve this problem earlier today.
Last night, Rivian began to push its newest over-the-air software update, 2023.42.0. Some vehicle owners were clearly excited to update to the newest version, as it promised to improve proximity locking, vehicle access, a gauge view, and more. However, owners who installed the software update immediately after it was released were instead met with hung progress indicators and blank infotainment screens.
As it turns out, the software update unintentionally soft-bricked the infotainment systems of an undetermined number of R1T and R1S all-electric trucks. Within hours of the update being rolled out and affected owners reaching out to the automaker’s unaware support channels, Rivian pulled the update and issued a statement about the root cause.
“We made an error with the 2023.42 OTA update—a fat finger where the wrong build with the wrong security certificates was sent out,” wrote a Rivian employee on Reddit. “We [canceled] the campaign and we will restart it with the proper software that went through the different campaigns of beta testing. Service will be contacting impacted customers and will go through the resolution options. That may require physical repair in some cases.”
Despite the soft-brick killing the infotainment system, most critical vehicle functions are still working. RivianTrackr, which first showed a video of the unsuccessful update to X (formerly Twitter), confirmed that the vehicle’s turn signals, locks, lights, wipers, and backup camera are still functional—the backup and 360-degree camera both showing up on the otherwise blank infotainment screen.
A Rivian spokesperson confirmed to InsideEVs that the issues affect both R1T and R1S vehicles and reiterated that the automaker has paused the rollout of this update. It’s not clear how many vehicles installed the software update prior to this, though Rivian appears to have that information across its fleet, as it says that its service team will be contacting customers for repair
Meanwhile, customers are reportedly being told not to charge or restart their vehicles in an attempt to fix the problem.
“The issue impacts the infotainment system. In most cases, the rest of the vehicle systems are still operational. A vehicle reset or sleep cycle will not solve the issue. We are validating the best options to address the issue for the impacted vehicles. Our customer support team is prioritizing support for our customers related to this issue.”
Realistically, Rivian handled this just about as well as it could. It owned up to the problem and stopped it as quickly as it could, albeit after it had affected some production vehicles. At least the automaker didn’t blame an intern, am I right?
The community of Rivian owners has also been pretty receptive to the company’s response. Those on Reddit and in Facebook groups have been fairly relaxed about the problem knowing that the company plans to fix it and are prioritizing support for the botched update. This is also the first Rivian software update that borked a number of vehicles in such a meaningful way, so a bit of leniency isn’t exactly unheard of.
As of now, Rivian doesn’t have an expected fix, though it is hoping to remedy the problem remotely. Those that do require physical service will likely be contacted, per Rivian’s initial statement on the matter. Rivian plans to restart the update campaign with the proper software build at a later time.