HANOI, May 25 (Reuters) – Vietnamese electric vehicle (EV) maker VinFast said it is recalling all the first batch of vehicles it shipped to the United States last year following a safety alert from US authorities.
The move came after the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said 999 of VinFast’s VF 8 vehicles had a software bug on the dash display that prevented critical safety information from being displayed and “could increase the risk of a crash.”
More than 700 of the 999 units are still owned by VinFast and have not been delivered to customers or fleet services, NHTSA estimated.
In a statement to Reuters, VinFast said it has issued a voluntary safety recall of the VF 8 City Edition, where the dashboard screen turns black while driving or stationary.
“VinFast is not aware of any field reports of incidents. The company is issuing this recall out of an abundance of caution,” it said.
The recall statement comes less than two weeks after VinFast announced it would be listed in the United States through a merger with Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) Black Spade Acquisition Co (BSAQ.N).
The two companies estimate that the new entity would have a potential equity value of $23 billion, assuming no Black Spade stockholder chooses to pay out.
In February, VinFast recalled 2,781 VF 8 cars sold domestically due to a problem with the front brake on some models.
Founded in 2017 and started selling electric cars in California this year, VinFast has 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 first became aware of the dashboard issue on April 27 while reading customer comments and concerns. According to the security service, the problem has been documented 18 times.
The NHTSA said VinFast will roll out a software update that should fix the problem. The software fix is expected to go live on May 25 and notification letters will be sent to owners on May 29.
Last month, VinFast said it had received a new round of funding 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; Edited by Martin Petty
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