Rivian Owners Encountered Problems With the Latest Update, Support Team Was Not Helpful

Rivian owners encountered problems with the latest update 8 photos
Photo: @RivianSoftware via Twitter | Edited
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Not every software update goes according to plan, and it's best to wait for feedback from other people before doing it yourself. This doesn't avoid issues, as some Rivian owners discovered after the latest 2023.14.00 update. Many reported problems with the Phone as a Key feature, while others encountered minor issues.
"If builders built buildings the way programmers wrote programs, then the first woodpecker that came along would destroy civilization" is a well-known Murphy Law derivative, also known as Weinberg's Law. Wisdom taught us that software updates solve old bugs and introduce new ones to be solved in future updates. The probability of something going wrong increases when the software update adds new features, which explains why significant updates are almost always riddled with bugs.

In the automotive world, software updates are still something new. Most carmakers offer very few, if any, software updates to their vehicles. Tesla changed that with its over-the-air updates, which other car companies later copied. Although it produces cars, Tesla is also a software company, so this makes sense. It also explains why its software usually works as it should. Rivian is doing a good job copying Tesla in this regard, although it doesn't have an equally good software team.

Rivian updates have always been praised for the new features added regularly. Still, on some occasions, they came with problems that shouldn't have been there. A bug in the 2023.6.2 update released in March caused the 12-volt batteries to deplete, leaving users stranded. The problem was eventually fixed, but some users complained that they were charged for the battery replacement, which is not only unpleasant but plain wrong.

With the latest 2023.14.00 update, Rivian introduced the long-awaited Drive Cam feature and the Charge Limit Slider. Although many were happy to see the new goodies, others complained about new software problems. Some were minors, such as some accounts disconnecting or the driving history disappearing. In some cases, Rivian owners with Samsung phones reported the Phone as a Key (PaaK) feature broke after the update.

Interestingly, the complaint on Reddit was answered by Rivian's chief of software Wassym Bensaid, who said there was no Android PaaK problem related to the recent update. Instead, there are known problems with Samsung phones, and he confirmed that Samsung is working on a fix. Other phone brands could also experience issues, with Android being more likely to experience problems than iOS because of the fragmentation.

While unpleasant, these are fairly minor issues that don't impact vehicle use. Still, one Rivian owner reported that his R1S bricked after accepting the last update. It was "completely dead" when they returned to the car in the morning, and Rivian customer support was not very helpful. A diagnostic team wasn't immediately available, so they were stuck next to the bricked R1S. Hopefully, Rivian will more thoroughly test its software releases in the future so that these hiccups don't happen anymore.
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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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