Rivian R1S Got Stuck in the Snow, and Towing It out Bricked the SUV

Rivian designed the R1S and R1T as adventure vehicles, although many owners report that they might be more fragile than advertised. There are several reports about bricked trucks, and one R1S owner claims this happened while his SUV was towed from the snow, where it had gotten stuck.
Rivian R1S gets stuck in the snow 7 photos
Photo: @TaylorOgan via Twitter
Rivian R1S gets stuck in the snowRivian R1S gets stuck in the snowRivian R1S gets stuck in the snowRivian R1S gets stuck in the snowThe same Rivian R1S, 48 hours earlierThe same Rivian R1S, 48 hours earlier
Many hailed Rivian for launching the first electric off-roaders into the market. The R1T and R1S are promoted as “adventure vehicles,” designed to take a beating and drive in harsh conditions. Perhaps their owners take these claims too literally because more reports are coming about Rivian EVs getting stuck or damaged in various situations. In some cases, even driving through a puddle caused damage to the underbody panels. Certainly, this should’ve not caused any problems for a truck.

Another story has made rounds on social media after Taylor Ogan, a hedge-fund investor, shared his brother’s unfortunate experience with a Rivian R1S. On Tuesday, he tweeted about his brother’s new “dream car,” a “stunning” Rivian R1S. Less than 48 hours into the ownership, Taylor’s brother saw his beloved SUV loaded onto a platform and sent 300 miles (480 km) away to a Rivian service center after a bizarre incident.

According to Taylor’s story, his brother tried to get into a camp with a foot of snow on the ground and got suck. The R1S had to get towed out of the snow, and the driver put the truck in Reverse to help the tractor pull the SUV. This is routine when cars get stuck in slippery or soft terrain and other vehicles tow them out. Then, he claims that after about 150 feet (450 m), the SUV’s rear brakes locked up, and it attempted to put itself in Park. The SUV was further dragged the remaining 150 feet on a snow-packed, slippery road.

When they stopped, the Rivian displayed an error message complaining about not being in Park, and the driver could not move it or transition to Park. The SUV was bricked, and its owner had to manually open the hood to get his stuff out before sending it to the nearest service center. Because the R1S still thought it was in Reverse, it drained the battery while waiting at the service center.

According to Rivian service technicians, the SUV panicked because of “lifting weight off of the driver’s seat while moving,” which triggered a safety response by engaging the brakes. The problem would probably be solved under warranty, but Rivian service asks $4,000 as a transport fee. The explanation for the steep price was “end-of-quarter madness.” If he could wait until April, the cost would be “only” $2,000. Taylor claims this bad experience has convinced his brother to sell the SUV. He would probably get a good price on it, considering others are willing to pay more than $100,000 for an R1S.

Other Rivian owners have reported bricked vehicles after the 12-volt battery died. The glitch is caused by Rivian software, which inaccurately reports the battery level. Hopefully, Rivian will sort out these issues and make the owners happy.

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About the author: Cristian Agatie
Cristian Agatie profile photo

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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