Rivian Releases App and Software OTA Update, Explains What Bricked Some of Its EVs

Rivian R1T and Rivian R1S Plus the 2023.10.00 Software Update 9 photos
Photo: Rivian / Martin Bogomolni on Facebook / Overall-Dimension on Reddit / autoevolution edit
Rivian 12V BatteryRivian App UpdateRivian R1T and R1SRivian R1T and R1SRivian R1SRivian R1TRivian R1TRivian R1T and R1S Interior
Rivian kept working behind the scenes and came out of nowhere with a comprehensive over-the-air software update for its R1T and R1S all-electric vehicles. It also added one important functionality to the dedicated app and eliminated all the anxiety related to why some units were unexpectedly bricked.
Rivian owners discovered that the EV maker pushed out an update for the phone app that added an important functionality – getting access to the R1T’s bed or the R1S’ trunk by just tapping a screen button. Some rushed to drop the tailgate of their all-electric pickup trucks or to open the liftgate of their SUVs, but they noticed that it was impossible.

Even though customers chose to update the app and were notified about the new additions, once they tried to see if the changes work, some difficulties appeared – the phone buttons were nowhere to be found.

Fortunately, this didn’t take long. Rivian released both the app and the vehicle updates at nearly the same time. But since it is easier to see a notification on your smartphone that’s almost always close to you, owners didn’t immediately see that their vehicles needed to be updated as well. After the 2023.10.00 software was installed, the new app buttons became available and the functionalities were activated.

The OTA update also added a couple of nifty things like the free TuneIn Premium trial, which is given to everyone for one year. This enables R1T and R1S owners to access live Major League Baseball and National Hockey League games, commercial-free news coverage, and hear fewer ads on almost 100,000 radio stations. Be aware that you must activate the free trial to enjoy it. Otherwise, you may risk losing this offer and might have to pay for TuneIn Premium without taking advantage of the trial.

Another cool addition is the displaying of Tesla Superchargers that have the much-touted Magic Dock, which is the name given by the now Austin-based automaker to its CCS-equipped stalls. If you choose to charge your Rivian at such a location, you’ll need the Tesla app.

If you have a Rivian Adventure Network (RAN) or Waypoint charger near you, then rejoice – this update also creates a seamless charging experience for R1T and R1S owners who can now just plug in, and the replenishing of the battery will start at once. But be patient – the young brand said this will be introduced on a rolling basis.

R1S owners get something just for them as the A/C for the third-row passengers can now be adjusted to their liking through the center display climate menu, according to RivnTrackr.

Rivian R1T and R1S
Photo: Rivian Automotive LLC
This OTA update also added a couple of little fixes like working out the range loss when the phone key is too close to the vehicle, changing the frequency of warnings when Highway Assist is on and also disabled the automatic close of the charge port door after 30 seconds since the charging cable was disconnected. Instead, it will close once the driver turns on the EV.

Rivian also discovered that “a small number of R1T and R1S” units have a software bug that may make a reset for the 12V battery necessary.

“In virtually all instances where this happens, a mobile technician is able to quickly reset the 12V batteries and restore function to the vehicle without needing further service. So long as the vehicle and occupants are in a safe location, we recommend this mobile service option as it's the quickest way to complete the reset,” said the automaker in an answer for begrudged owners who had to deal with bricked pickup trucks and SUVs.

The issue will be addressed through another software update that’s supposed to come by the end of the current week.

Finally, these updates and the battery fault announcement are a great way of reassuring prospective Rivian buyers and current owners of the fact that some important executives leaving will not affect the brand's ability to deliver the solutions that keep the ball rolling.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
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Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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