VinFast, a Vietnamese electric vehicle brand and newcomer to the U.S. automotive industry, announced a recall affecting the entirety of its first shipment to North America.
The announcement arrives some days after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published its own recall notice on May 18. The agency writes that a software defect discovered in some 2023 VF 8 SUVs can cause the multifunction head unit (MHU) display to fail. Without a functioning MHU, which provides the driver with “critical safety information,” the agency says the EV brand’s vehicles fail to meet auto industry safety regulations.
According to supplemental documents provided with the NHTSA’s report, VinFast’s customer care team became aware of the problem in late April. The discovery resulted in a rigorous, three-day investigation to identify the underlying issue, uncovering 14 defective models in the process. The team concluded that a recall was necessary on May 12, which the EV brand submitted voluntarily. The notice applies to all 999 vehicles sent as part of the car manufacturer’s initial U.S. delivery in November of 2022. Of these units, 264 are in the hands of customers and fleet operators, with the remaining 735 still in the automaker’s possession.
To resolve the issue, VinFast has developed an over-the-air software update to detect the underlying error and prevent a display shutdown. The EV brand expects to release the fix today, although owners will receive official notifications starting May 29. Although the issue virtually affects all VF 8 SUVs in the U.S., drivers can check if their vehicle is affected by going to the NHTSA’s website and entering their associated vehicle identification number.
Earlier this year, the EV brand said it had received 12,000 orders from the American market and 50,000 worldwide. In Q2, VinFast delivered another round of VF 8 SUVs to the U.S., bringing its total to 2,097 units. The vehicles represent the first Vietnamese entry into the American car market, and are the latest in a flurry of mid-size, luxury, electric SUVs to appear in the auto industry’s post-pandemic era.