VinFast becomes the latest victim of ‘recall’ with early unit defect

June 24, 2023

VinFast is recalling potentially 999 units of its VF8 all-electric vehicle that just recently started being delivered to customers in the U.S. as the display will blank and not show “critical safety information,” such as the speedometer or warning lights.

The Vietnamese company said, “On certain 2023 MY VF 8 Variant MPVs, the MHU screen goes blank while driving or stationary.” 999 potential VF8 vehicles could be affected, but only 111 are in customer hands, while 153 are in fleet service. 735 vehicles “remain under VinFast’s custody and control,” the NHTSA’s safety recall report states.

The first 999 units of the VF8 arrived in the United States late last year, arriving at California’s Port of Benicia near San Francisco after being shipped from Vietnam in late November.

VinFast has already stated it would begin resolving the issue through software updates that are set to begin rolling out today. It is the most recent case of an automaker solving a “recall” through software fixes, a term that many, including Tesla CEO Elon Musk, have challenged in the past.

Musk has called for agencies to update the terminology involved with a “recall,” as it does not fully encapsulate what a true recall is. Recalls are usually issues with a vehicle that requires physical attention from the company that manufactured it. With the transition to more software-based vehicles throughout the automotive industry, these “recalls” are more often than not solved with updates that are downloaded.

The NHTSA told us early last year that manufacturers are required to initiate recall notices for any repair that would fix a risk to safety. This includes a software update, the agency said.

Musk has called the NHTSA’s terminology on recalls “outdated and inaccurate” in the past. He has also said that the word “recall” for an Over-the-Air software update is “anachronistic and just flat wrong.”

The definition of a recall is set by the NHTSA, and there is currently no evidence that plans to change the definition of the term, even though many car companies have continued to remedy more issues through software fixes.

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VinFast becomes the latest victim of ‘recall’ with early unit defect