Electric vehicle startup Rivian has faced challenges as it establishes itself in the automotive industry, with some owners reporting issues related to their vehicles. Mitch Dumke, an Ohio rancher, has experienced more severe problems with his Rivian R1T, prompting the company to agree to repurchase the electric pickup truck at its full retail price.
In a video review shared on YouTube, Dumke outlined multiple instances where his R1T required towing, with each incident linked to either the braking system or a drive unit malfunction. Dumke, who utilized the truck extensively, accumulating over 24,000 miles in approximately 15 months while hauling tools, towing trailers, and carrying heavy cargo, faced significant disruptions to his productivity due to these recurring issues.
Each time the R1T needed towing, a message on the screen instructed Dumke to pull over and secure the vehicle. Subsequently, the truck would not restart, often displaying a “Driving Disabled” message. Dumke noted that during these periods, he had to secure the wheels, as the vehicle essentially operated in neutral.
Acknowledging Rivian's responsive customer support, Dumke praised the company for covering the cost of Lyft or Uber rides and providing tow truck assistance. Despite the persistent issues, Dumke expressed appreciation for Rivian's decision to repurchase the electric pickup truck at full retail price after he raised concerns about the vehicle's reliability and safety.
It is noteworthy that Rivian's agreement to buy back the truck occurred voluntarily, as the situation did not trigger Ohio's lemon law, which typically mandates vehicle replacement in such cases.
Dumke also provided insights into his overall experience driving the R1T, highlighting challenges such as the early failure of the tonneau cover and issues with the tailgate not closing when the bed is loaded with fine particulates or snow. However, he commended the convenience of the locked storage in the gear tunnel and applauded software updates that enhanced towing-related functionality in the infotainment system.
Despite the encountered challenges, Dumke recommended the Rivian R1T to potential buyers seeking an electric pickup truck, emphasizing its positive features. He plans to transition to a more affordable vehicle to accommodate his growing family but advised potential electric truck buyers to consider smaller vehicles for increased efficiency, as smaller cars can be twice as efficient as electric pickups.