First impressions are everything when debuting a car, especially an EV, in the United States. First, an automaker has to deal with the notoriously stringent process of getting a vehicle approved for sale in the first place. Then it has to contend with every other manufacturer with bigger and better manufacturing facilities, some of which, like General Motors and Ford, have been around for over a century.
New Vietnamese EV maker VinFast is trying its darnedest to get a foothold in the U.S. market with its SUV, the VF8. The first time behind the wheel did not leave the best impressions according to many automotive media outlets (including SlashGear), proving the car to be somewhat uninspired at best and downright broken at worst. The onboard infotainment and electronics system drew the ire of many drivers.
Now, VinFast is facing an electronics-related recall on its VF8. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the primary display can go blank randomly while driving or stationary. That’s not good on any vehicle but can be especially disastrous on the VF8.
VinFast is pushing out a software fix
Much like a number of Teslas, several vital functions of the VinFast VF8 are controlled via the big tablet-like display in the middle of the cabin. That includes any media or navigation controls, mirror position, backup camera, blind spot monitoring, warning lights, and diagnostic information. Suffice it to say, it’s not good when the display goes out, no matter how much you hate big screens in your car.
The defect has been reported 18 times, according to NHTSA documentation. Currently, the NHTSA estimates that 999 VF8s are potentially affected by the issue, with 111 in customer’s hands, 153 in fleets, and the rest in VinFast’s inventory.
To fix the issue, VinFast is pushing out a free over-the-air software update that will fix the issue and get the screen working again. While it’s undoubtedly a good thing that modern technology allows an automaker, especially one as new as VinFast, to fix an issue without the car ever seeing the inside of a service bay, the recall likely isn’t a good thing for VinFast’s Stateside reputation.