Rivian software update bricks infotainment system, fix not obvious – Electrek.co

2 minutes, 37 seconds Read

On Monday, Rivian released an incremental software update 2023.42 that bricked the infotainment system in R1Ses and R1Ts. The company is frantically working on a fix but it might not be an OTA…

Rivian’s Vice President of Software Engineering Wassim Bensaid took to Reddit (!?) to update users on the situation.

Hi All,

We made an error with the 2023.42 OTA update – a fat finger where the wrong build with the wrong security certificates was sent out. We cancelled the campaign and we will restart it with the proper software that went through the different campaigns of beta testing.

Service will be contacting impacted customers and will go through the resolution options. That may require physical repair in some cases.

This is on us – we messed up. Thanks for your support and your patience as we go through this.

* Update 1 (11/13, 10:45 PM PT): The issue impacts the infotainment system. In most cases, the rest of the vehicle systems are still operational. A vehicle reset or sleep cycle will not solve the issue. We are validating the best options to address the issue for the impacted vehicles. Our customer support team is prioritizing support for our customers related to this issue. Thank you.

That’s the last update we had over 10 hours after Rivian customer vehicles were fed the bad software update. Rivian’s PR team hasn’t replied to requests for comment.

The vehicles are drivable but software and displays go black. It appears that the 2023.42 software update hangs at 90% on the vehicle screen or 50% on the app screen and then the vehicle screens black out. All systems appear to still work except for the displays.

One Reddit user noted:

Remotely setting climate controls appear to be working for me. You can’t adjust it while seated in the vehicle (feature to prevent competing for changes from inside and outside the vehicle?) but for those in cold/hot weather, you can at least pre-set and pre-heat/cool your vehicle even without the infotainment – at least if yours ended up in the same state that mind did.

At the moment, it appears that Amazon vans are not impacted. We’ve reached out to Rivian for comment and will update when they respond (or update Reddit!).

Electrek’s take

This is a big deal and not for whatever this fix ends up being but about trusting the Rivian Software Team to deliver stuff that won’t break your car.

The fact that this could even happen is very troubling. A bad certificate should not be pushed via a “fat thumb causes the fleet to be disabled”. The architecture shouldn’t have been designed this way.

I personally tried updating my vehicle last night before the errors were reported and if I had been a few minutes earlier, I would also now have a bricked infotainment with the closest software center 200+ miles away and my vehicle covered in a few inches of fresh Vermont snow.

Hopefully, Rivian’s software team (who have probably had an awful night) can come up with an OTA or more likely a USB-stick type of update that affected owners can easily and quickly apply.

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