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EV Manufacturer Recalls Entire First Batch of Cars Shipped to US Over Serious Safety Issue

A Vietnamese carmaker’s entry into the American electric car market has hit a pothole, with all of the first batch of vehicles sent to the U.S. under a recall notice.

VinFast’s VF 8 vehicles suffer from an issue with the multifunction head unity display, which is the dashboard display. At times, the unit goes blank.

“A blank MHU display will not show critical safety information, such as the speedometer or warning lights,” the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration warned.

The VF8, an SUV, sells for $49,000, according to the Kelley Blue Book.

“Typically, a minor issue with an infotainment unit wouldn’t be cause for major concern. However, this issue was elevated in the case of the VF8 because the display is the only screen in the vehicle,” Lewin Day wrote for TheDrive.

“As it is used in place of a traditional gauge cluster, it displays critical information like vehicle speed and warning lights. Thus, the failure of the display is considered a safety issue.”

Day noted that the software update to fix the glitch could be problematic.

“The fix for the issue is an over-the-air software update. It consists of a watchdog mechanism that determines if the communications error has occurred and reinitializes the head unit’s software if so. VinFast reports that the update can rectify the issue in under 200 ms. That’s long enough for the human eye to perceive the screen momentarily blanking, so some owners may not consider this a perfect fix,” he wrote.

The NHTSA report on the problem said 999 vehicles were involved in the recall, of which 111 had been bought by customers and another 153 were in use for fleets. The problem took place on vehicles made between July 27 and Nov. 25.

“VinFast is aware of 18 reported occurrences on 14 vehicles. Of the 18 occurrences, 8 occurred while the vehicle was in park, 5 occurred while the vehicle was not in park, and for 5 of the occurrences, the position of the shift selector lever was not reported,” the report said.

The report said that the glitch came to the company’s attention on April 27, triggering an investigation that led to the voluntary recall notice being issued on May 12.

“VinFast is not aware of any field reports of incidents. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution,” the company said in a statement, according to Reuters.

In February, VinFast had recalled 2,781 of the vehicles sold in Vietnam due to a front brake issue.

VinFast began selling EVs in California this year and has sent 2,097 VF8 cars to the U.S. The recalled cars made up the first batch sent.

READ 8 COMMENTS
  • D says:

    More Foreign crap!

  • Louis Galmarini says:

    $49K – for Vietnamese CRAP?! ARE THEY SERIOUS??!! I paid $32K for an ’05 Lexus ES330, used and fresh off a 2-year lease w/ 32K miles in 2007. I still have it, and w/ 156K miles – it still runs flawlessly. In 2019, I paid $48K for a new 2019 Lexus ES350. I’m sure it’s going to last (almost) 20 years like my (now) ‘winter beater’ has. They’re starting again w/ the ‘throw-away’ cars, which was tried and failed in the early ’70’s, (Pinto, Vega). Only this time, they’ll come from countries who hate us, (China, Pakistan, Russia, etc.). WATCH AND LEARN – IT’S GOING TO HAPPEN. However, people will soon catch on and/or remember what it was like to pay hard-earned dollars for a POS that lasts only a couple of years, and some new startup manufacturer will reap the benefits.

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