Without any dealerships and few, if any, service stations qualified to work on the first-of-its-kind electric vehicle, you might be wondering how to fix issues with your Rivian. We did the research so you don’t have to.
In addition to its groundbreaking technology, Rivian also broke the mold with its approach to auto sales. As of this writing, there are not any Rivian dealerships, nor ex-pro-footballer-owned franchise lots.
And while the direct-to-consumer model is in keeping with the brand’s cutting-edge approach, it comes with some drawbacks. Namely, how are you supposed to get your electric pickup truck or SUV serviced if something goes haywire? Or even if you suffer a run-of-the-mill fender bender, where do you go to get it repaired or replaced?
Consider this article a primer on how Rivian owners, or prospective shoppers, should expect to handle routine maintenance or unexpected issues. It’s not comprehensive and is subject to change, therefore you should use this as a reference only. For up-to-date and comprehensive info, check out Rivian.com.
How to Service a Rivian
Bottom line: Don’t panic. While you will approach servicing your Rivian a little differently than other vehicles, the brand has planned for most owners’ needs and circumstances.
Not only does Rivian have a fleet of mobile service technicians, but it also proactively addresses potential vehicle issues via remote updates. And it has partnered with some third-party technicians for various cosmetic repairs.
Here’s a look at how it all works.
An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To this end, Rivian vehicles connect via Wi-Fi or cellular signal for important upgrades and improvements — called OTAs (over-the-air updates).
According to Rivian, OTAs include enhancements to entertainment, digital experience, vehicle dynamics, range, efficiency, battery management algorithms, thermal management, and more.
Rivian will indicate available OTAs through in-vehicle prompts or via the Rivian app. You can perform these updates immediately or schedule them for later.
To complete the OTA, Rivian recommends connecting the vehicle over Wi-Fi (think: at home, in your garage), but these can also occur using your cellular data plan.
Important note: To complete the OTA, the R1 will need to be inoperable and in park. These updates can’t occur while the vehicle is in use.
Mobile Service Technicians
Rivian says that because its vehicles lack an internal combustion engine — and all the pieces that go along with it — its truck and SUVs will be less susceptible to regular checklist maintenance items traditional vehicle owners are used to.
That said, when service is necessary and can’t be addressed or fixed via OTAs, Rivian maintains a roving network of certified and trained mobile service technicians.
If you have an issue, you can either contact Rivian’s Service Team or your assigned Rivian Guide. Both of the services are available 24/7 and will make use of your vehicle’s onboard diagnostics.
Rivian claims many repairs and service items can be carried out with its fleet of service vans. These technicians will come to you, wherever you are, and perform any maintenance that doesn’t require a vehicle lift. You don’t need to be present while the mobile technician works.
This service includes roadside assistance (see below).
Roadside assistance is part of Rivian’s mobile services. This and other mobile service maintenance is currently available anywhere in the U.S. and Canada (and expanding).
Roadside assistance is included with a warranty that lasts 5 years or 60,000 miles (whichever comes first). This service remains available at the owner’s expense after the warranty expires.
This service can also handle many repairs for official Rivian gear and accessories, like the Camp Kitchen.
When a roadside emergency occurs, you can activate roadside assistance through the Rivian app.
Rivian Service Centers
If your vehicle requires more comprehensive service, the Rivian Service Team will dispatch a service technician to pick up the vehicle and take it to a Service Center.
More than 40 Service Centers are available across North America, and Rivian says the network is expanding. While your vehicle is serviced, Rivian will provide a loaner and drop off your vehicle when service is complete.
Finally, Rivian has partnered with several independent repair shops. These shops received certification from Rivian to handle collision repair and bodywork.
However, Rivian advises customers to chat with a mobile technician or online service tech before opting for third-party service and repair.
How to Obtain Service
Nearly all service inquiries and updates begin with the Rivian app. Through it, Rivian will notify customers of required maintenance and proactive service. Customers can also use the app to speak with a technician and request mobile service or roadside assistance. Representatives are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Once you and the service technician have agreed on a repair plan, you can schedule a visit (or vehicle pickup) through the app.
Finally, the app allows users to track the vehicle’s progress and request further information or updates.