VinFast recalls EVs shipped to the US due to a software glitch

Vietnamese automaker VinFast has issued the first recall for several 2023 VF8 vehicles due to a software glitch that caused the dash screen to go blank.

The withdrawal was issued after federal regulators warn that drivers are at increased risk of having an accident because a blank screen does not display important information such as a speedometer or warning lights. VinFast says it can fix the problem with an over-the-air software update that will start Thursday.

VinFast said in a statement that “the safety of its customers is its top priority as it strives every day to provide world-class products and outstanding service.”

About 999 vehicles are affected by the recall, the first batch of EVs that VinFast is shipping to the United States, according to a filing with the US 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 says it knows of 18 incidents reported in 14 vehicles.

The recall comes almost three months since the company delivered first VF8 City Edition to US customers. The vehicle has been heavily criticized by the automotive media largely for its ride quality and other issues, including a software glitch.

VinFast has big ambitions to carve out a share of the North American vehicle market with a line-up of all-electric SUVs.

The company owned by the conglomerate Vingroup was formed in 2017. The company debuted its first internal combustion engine vehicle 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 launch, its vehicles have become the fastest selling in Vietnam.

VinFast then pivoted into a pure EV company, and while continuing to make inroads in Vietnam, it also set its sights on the US market. VinFast says 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 launched several EV models. The VF8 was the first to come to the US market.

The company has also been seeking capital to fuel its plans. In April, the company said billionaire Pham Nhat Vuong, who founded Vingroup, was committed to investing $1 billion of his personal fortune through grants in EV companies. Vingroup will invest $500 million. The parent company also agreed to lend VinFast an additional $1 billion for terms of up to five years.

The company has since switched to the public market. VinFast announced May plans to go public through a merger with special purpose firm Black Spade Acquisition in a deal that has an estimated corporate value of $27 billion.

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