Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer VinFast has announced the recall of its first shipment of vehicles to the United States in response to a safety warning issued by U.S. authorities. The recall was prompted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) highlighting a software error in the dashboard display of 999 VinFast VF 8 vehicles. This error prevents crucial safety information from being shown, potentially increasing the risk of accidents.
VinFast acknowledged that out of the 999 affected units, more than 700 are still in the company's possession and have not yet been delivered to customers or fleet services, as estimated by the NHTSA. The automaker has taken proactive measures, issuing a voluntary safety recall specifically for the VF 8 City Edition model, where the dashboard screen intermittently goes blank while driving or stationary.
In a statement provided to Reuters, VinFast emphasized its commitment to customer safety and the precautionary nature of the recall, stating, “VinFast is not aware of any field reports of incidents. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution.”
The decision to recall the vehicles comes shortly after VinFast's announcement of its intention to list on the U.S. stock market through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Black Spade Acquisition Co (BSAQ.N). VinFast and Black Spade estimate a potential equity value of $23 billion for the merged entity, assuming no Black Spade shareholders decide to cash out.
Earlier this year, VinFast conducted another recall, involving 2,781 VF 8 cars sold domestically in Vietnam due to an issue with the front brake on certain models. Having established itself in 2017, VinFast began selling EVs in California this year and has so far shipped a total of 2,097 units of the VF 8 model to the United States in two separate batches. The company is also preparing to introduce its first vehicles to the European market starting in July.
Documents filed with the NHTSA revealed that VinFast became aware of the dashboard issue on April 27 through customer feedback. The safety agency has recorded a total of 18 incidents related to this problem. VinFast intends to resolve the issue by implementing a software update, which is scheduled to be released on May 25. Notification letters will be sent to the owners of the affected vehicles by May 29.
VinFast recently received fresh funding commitments worth $2.5 billion from its parent company, Vingroup, Vietnam's largest conglomerate, and its founder Pham Nhat Vuong, Vietnam's first billionaire and the country's richest individual. These investments highlight the continued support for VinFast as it addresses the software error and upholds its dedication to delivering reliable electric vehicles to the global market.
VinFast's recall of the initial batch of vehicles demonstrates the company's proactive approach in ensuring customer safety and maintaining its reputation as a responsible EV manufacturer.