However, a user on TikTok has called out the company, in a video with over 500,000 views, for something the trucks apparently don’t feature in certain situations: brake lights, according to a report in The Daily Dot.
Mechanic Chuck (@checkenginechuckllc) claims the problem comes as a result of drivers’ tendency to drive with their hazard lights on. This is, he says, due to the fact that the trucks make frequent stops (though driving with your hazard lights on is illegal in several states).
The Rivian vehicles lack a third brake light, however. This means that when the hazard lights are on, there is no visual indicator that the car is braking.
In some states it is legal to drive with hazard lights on, however at the speeds that these electric delivery vehicles sometimes brake at, it could cause an accident with the following vehicle with no brake lights.
In the email exchange with The Daily Dot, he also shared his belief that fixing this issue would require more than a software update. The simplest, yet more expensive fix for Rivian to make should this issue be verified, would be to change the tall reflector at the top of the van.
He later questions if these electric vehicles go against regulations set by the Department of Transportation, and if so proposes a new regulation which would require a top brake light, which operates independent from hazard lights, similar to lighter duty vehicles.
Response From Rivian
Rivian has responded as well, sharing information with the The Daily Dot explaining that the truck is in fact legally compliant.
A spokesperson for Rivian also noted that the vehicle in the video operated as intended. They said that the brake lights did not activate simply because the deceleration was low enough not to warrant them igniting.
They finish by stating had the rate of deceleration been high enough, the brake lights would have activated, and been brighter than the hazard lights.