VinFast recalls EVs sent to US over a software glitch
Vietnamese automaker VinFast has issued its first recall for some of its 2023 VF8 vehicles over a software glitch that causes the dashboard screen to go blank.
The recall was issued after federal regulators warned that drivers were at an increased risk of crashing because a blank display doesn't show critical information such as the speedometer or warning lights. VinFast said it can fix the problem with an over-the-air software update that will begin Thursday.
VinFast said in a statement that "the safety of its customers is its top priority as it strives each day to deliver world-class products and outstanding services."
About 999 vehicles are affected by the recall, the first batch of EVs that VinFast shipped to the United States, according to a filing with the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Of these 999, 111 are in customer hands and 153 are in fleet service. VinFast still has 735 vehicles in its possession. VinFast said it is aware of 18 reported occurrences on 14 vehicles.
The recall comes nearly three months since the company delivered its first VF8 City Edition to a U.S. customer. The vehicle has been widely criticized by automotive media outlets largely due to its ride quality and other issues, including software malfunctions.
VinFast has grand ambitions to carve out a piece of the North American vehicle market with a bevy of all-electric SUVs.
The company, which is owned by conglomerate Vingroup, was formed in 2017. The company debuted its first internal combustion engine vehicles at the 2018 Paris Motor Show and later added a range of e-scooters and vehicles for the Vietnamese market. The company has said that within a year of launching, its vehicles became the fastest-selling in Vietnam.
VinFast then made a pivot to a pure EV company, and while it continued to make inroads in Vietnam, it also set its sights on the U.S. market. VinFast said it has introduced six EV models, one electric bus model and nine electric motorbikes. About 3,000 electric cars have been exported to foreign markets.
Since then, VinFast has debuted several EV models. The VF8 is the first to come to the U.S. market.
The company has also sought out capital to fuel its plans. In April, the company said billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, who founded Vingroup, committed to invest $1 billion of his personal wealth via a grant in the EV company. Vingroup will invest $500 million. The parent company has also agreed to loan VinFast an additional $1 billion with a maturity of up to five years.
The company has since turned to the public markets. VinFast announced in May plans to go public via a merger with a special purpose company Black Spade Acquisition in a deal that has an estimated enterprise value of $27 billion.