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Vinfast recalls EVs shipped to US due to 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 important information like a speedometer or warning lights. Winfast said it could fix the problem with an over-the-air software update starting Thursday.

Vinfast said in a statement that “the safety of its customers is its top priority as it strives to deliver world-class products and excellent service each day.”

According to a filing with the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 999 vehicles are affected by the recall of the first batch of EVs that Vinfast shipped to the United States. Of these 999, 111 are in customer hands and 153 are in fleet service. Vinfast still has 735 vehicles.
VinFast said it has reported 18 incidents on 14 vehicles.

The recall comes almost three months after the company delivered its first VF8 City Edition to the US customer. The vehicle has been widely criticized by automotive media outlets for its ride quality and other issues including software malfunctions.

Vinfast has big ambitions to carve out a slice 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 its vehicles became the fastest selling vehicles in Vietnam within a year of launch.

VinFast then made a pivot to a pure EV company, and while it continues to make inroads in Vietnam, it has also set its eyes on the US market. VinFast said it has introduced six EV models, one electric bus model and nine electric motorbikes. Around 3,000 electric cars have been exported to overseas markets.

Since then, Vinfast has introduced several EV models. The VF8 is the first to hit the US market.

The company has also sought capital to promote its plans. In April, the company said billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, who founded Vingroup, committed to invest $1 billion of his personal wealth in the EV company through grants. Wingroup will invest $500 million. The parent company has also agreed to extend an additional $1 billion in debt to Vinfast with maturities of up to five years.

The company has since turned to the public markets. Winfast announced plans to go public in May through a merger with Black Spade Acquisition, a special purpose vehicle valued at an estimated enterprise value of $27 billion.

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