Some Rivian R1T owners who jumped at the opportunity to improve their pickup truck through a free over-the-air (OTA) software update are regretting their decision as a recent update appears to have bricked their vehicles. Many reported they charged their trucks overnight, but they locked up and shut down two hours after unplugging in the morning.
Rivian R1T owners have taken to forums to share their bricking experience. Some episodes have a happy ending, with Rivian Center applying a fix at no cost to the owners. The explanation for the odd behavior is that the latest software update shipped with a bug that prevents the high-voltage and two 12-volt batteries from communicating. Due to this, the 12-volt batteries can’t charge and deplete.
They must be replaced when they drain completely, as they can’t be jump-started. The biggest failure is that the owner cannot access the car as the door would not operate normally. Replacing the batteries requires a recalibration, making visiting the service center unavoidable.
However, Rivian is not guaranteed to fix the issue at no cost. There have been reports from R1T owners that Rivian refused a free repair. One forum user spent $1,000 to get their vehicle back, an inflated price considering the cost of off-the-shelf lead acid batteries, as reported by Auto Evolution.
The problem has been traced to the 2023.6.2 update, even though it has not affected every truck that installed it.
When Tesla cars had similar issues, the EV maker decided to replace the lead-acid batteries with LFP types which can survive deep discharges better.