Rivian Offers a Shorter Warranty for the Dual-Motor Variants of R1S and R1T

Rivian offers a shorter warranty for the Dual-Motor models 6 photos
Photo: Rivian
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Rivian recently started sales of Dual-Motor R1T and R1S with Enduro motors, an important milestone for the EV startup. Still, people noticed that the new models have a shorter warranty. This stands even for the battery pack, although it's supposed to be the same as in the Quad-Motor versions.
Rivian impressed everyone in 2021 as the first carmaker to deliver an electric pickup truck in the US. Not only that, but the R1T was appreciated by all those who test-drove it. For a startup producing its first-ever vehicle, this was an incredible feat. Only Tesla had managed to penetrate the air-tight automotive industry until then, and many believed it would be hard for another startup to succeed.

Still, after all the bells and whistles of the initial launch, Rivian got bogged down by supply-chain issues and inflationary pressures for much of 2022. Getting the components it needed to ramp production was hard and expensive, so Rivian started developing its parts. The boldest decision the EV startup made was developing in-house the Enduro electric motors to replace the ones sourced from Bosch. This is something that other EV startups, most notably Lucid, already did, although the decision cost them dearly.

Rivian successfully advanced the Enduro drive-unit development, with testing done throughout much of 2022. The first in-house electric motors were fitted inside the EDV vans, but soon Rivian was confident enough to use Enduro in its retail EVs, R1S and R1T. A week ago, Rivian opened its online configurator to those wishing to order the Dual-Motor variants, signaling confidence that it can produce enough Enduro units to power the EDV vans for Amazon and the R1S and R1T for the general public.

The joy was short-lived, though, as people started noticing intriguing things about the new models. For starters, Rivian dropped the power levels of Dual-Motor variants compared to the ones announced earlier. The standard Dual-Motor R1S and R1T are now listed with 533 horsepower instead of 600 hp. The Performance models were also derated to 665 hp instead of 700 hp. Although Rivian did not clarify the decision, many believe it cut the power to make the Enduro motors more durable. Rivian still doesn't have enough reliability data for the new components and is playing it safe.

New information shows that there might be another reason behind this decision. Rivian might genuinely believe that its in-house drive units are not as durable as their name suggests. The warranty conditions published on the EV startup's website show that Dual-Motor variants have a shorter bumper-to-bumper warranty than Quad-Motor, 4 years/50,000 miles instead of 5 years/60,000 miles.

The battery pack is equally penalized, with an 8-year/150,000-mile warranty instead of 8 years/175,000 miles of the Quad Motor models. Intriguingly, the drive units are all covered by the same 8-year/175,000-mile warranty, despite being the only significant difference between the two configurations. Rivian didn't offer an explanation for this difference, leaving people to speculate on the reasons behind it.

Some discussing this matter on Reddit and in Rivian forums think the carmaker is trying to limit its losses toward the end of the warranty period if the new drive units prove less durable. If this is not the case, the EV startup is undoubtedly sending the wrong signals to its customer base.
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About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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