The Vietnamese carmaker VinFast is in a similar position today, as its vehicles received lackluster reception from reviewers after entering the US market. Overwhelmed with negative feedback, the Vietnamese startup decided to compensate owners in cash or vouchers for every problem they might have with their cars. The compensation depends on the problem type, ranging from $100 for minor inconveniences to $300 for issues that render a vehicle inoperable. If the repair takes more than three days, VinFast owners also get $100 for every additional day their car remains in service.
The new policy entered effect on June 15 in the US and Canada and will remain in place until further notice. The compensation amounts are valid in the US market, with other markets to be announced shortly. Interestingly, the three types of issues do not exclude each other, and a VinFast owner can be compensated for all of them should they occur simultaneously. The kind of issue is determined by VinFast when diagnosing the vehicle.
We take it that if a VinFast owner experiences an infotainment problem, has a defective drive unit, and the repair needs more than three days, they are entitled to at least $400 in compensation. The new conditions do not specify which customers will get a service voucher and which will get the cash in hand.
It's an interesting approach meant to offer peace of mind to those considering purchasing a VinFast VF8, the only vehicle the Vietnamese startup is currently selling in the US. It's a leap of faith indeed, considering the starting price of $46,000 for a mid-size crossover the size of a Tesla Model Y. The dual-motor base variant has 349 horsepower, and its 87.7 kWh battery enables an estimated EPA range of 264 miles (425 km).
By comparison, the Tesla Model Y costs $47,740 for the dual-motor AWD variant built with 4680 cells at Giga Texas. Tesla's crossover is eligible for a $7,500 IRA tax credit and offers 279 miles (449 km) of range from a smaller battery, at 67.6 kWh. Tesla might have its own build quality problems but is nowhere near the VinFast VF8 in this regard, which obviously has a lot to catch up. Would you buy a VinFast VF8 over a Tesla Model Y, even considering the 10-year warranty on the Vietnamese EV?