HANOI, May 25 (Reuters) – Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast said it was recalling all the first batches of vehicles it shipped to the United States last year following a warning safety certificates issued by the American authorities.
The move came after the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 999 of VinFast’s VF 8 vehicles suffered a software error in the dashboard display that prevented information from being displayed. safety concerns and “could increase the risk of an accident”.
More than 700 of the 999 units are still in VinFast’s hands and have not been delivered to customers or fleet services, NHTSA estimated.
In a statement to Reuters, VinFast said it had issued a voluntary safety recall of the VF 8 City Edition where the dashboard screen turns off while driving or stationary.
“VinFast is not aware of any incident reports from the field. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution,” he said.
The recall statement comes less than two weeks after VinFast announced it would list in the United States through a merger with special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) Black Spade Acquisition Co (BSAQ.N).
The two companies estimated that the new entity would have a potential net worth of $23 billion, assuming no Black Spade shareholders choose to cash out.
In February, VinFast recalled 2,781 VF 8 cars sold in the domestic market due to a problem with the front brake on some models.
VinFast, which was founded in 2017 and began selling electric vehicles in California this year, shipped two batches of VF 8 cars to the United States totaling 2,097 units. It also plans to send its first vehicles to Europe in July.
In documents filed with NHTSA, VinFast said it became aware of the dashboard issue on April 27 by reading customer feedback and concerns. According to the security agency, the problem has been documented 18 times.
NHTSA said VinFast will introduce a software update that should resolve the issue. The hotfix is expected to go live on May 25, and notification letters will be sent to owners by May 29.
Last month, VinFast said it received a new round of funding pledges worth $2.5 billion from parent company Vingroup JSC (VIC.HM), Vietnam’s largest conglomerate, and founder Pham Nhat. Vuong, Vietnam’s first billionaire and richest man.
Reporting by Phuong Nguyen and Sheena K Thomas; Editing by Martin Petty
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