Vietnamese EV maker VinFast issued a voluntary recall for the entire first batch of 999 VF8 electric SUVs sent to the US over a software issue that poses safety risks.
VinFast issues VF8 recall in the US
The recall comes after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said: “A software error may cause the multifunction head unit (MHU) display to go blank.”
As a result, it may not show critical safety information, including the speedometer or warning lights, increasing the risk of a crash.
According to the NHTSA:
VinFast is not aware of any field reports of incidents in the United States on vehicles in customer hands or in Company fleet service.
VinFast is rolling out an over-the-air (OTA) update today, May 25, to fix the glitch (free of charge) and will notify owners through mail starting May 29.
Of the 999 VF8 electric SUVs shipped to the US in November, 111 are in customers’ hands, 153 are in fleet service, and 735 are still in VinFast’s possession.
VinFast began customer deliveries in March after an initial delay due to software problems. My colleague at Electrek Scooter Doll was among the first to test the limited VF 8 City Edition Plus at VinFast’s first media drive event earlier this month.
The Plus model is powered by dual 150 kW motors for 300 kW max power and 620 Nm torque. With an 82 kWh battery, the VF 8 City Edition Plus edition features an EPA range of 191 miles with an MSRP of $56,000.
Although “VinFast is off to a promising start,” he says, “there is certainly room for improvement.” He continued to explain, “There are some blatant bugs in the system,” including several icons lit up that shouldn’t have been (you can read his full review here).
The software issues are not huge, but they must be ironed out before being delivered to customers. It sounds like VinFast is already on top of it, with an OTA update coming.
Over the past year or two, VinFast has moved quickly to introduce new electric models and expand its brand globally.
VinFast has reached the US and Canada with plans to expand into Europe and Southeast Asia. One of the drawbacks of moving so quickly is missing issues like in the software.
It sounds like an easy fix that should be resolved quickly without any long-term effects. However, as they say, “first impressions are everything.” The EV maker needs to focus on building a positive brand image after a less-than-ideal first attempt, and that takes paying attention to the smallest details.