Posted by on March 27, 2023 11:47 am
Categories: News Washington Examiner

Man waits three years for dream electric vehicle only to get slammed with bad news and bill

A 2023 R1S sports-utility vehicle is charged in a bay at a Rivian delivery and service center Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) David Zalubowski/AP

Man waits three years for dream electric vehicle only to get slammed with bad news and bill

Luke Gentile March 27, 11:02 AMMarch 27, 11:02 AM Video Embed

A New York man was overcome with disappointment after he waited three years for his dream electric vehicle only to get slammed with bad news and a hefty bill.

Chase Merrill, 24, lives in a remote area of New York’s Adirondack Mountains and put a deposit down on a Rivian R1S three years ago after his family of EV drivers had pressured him to do so, according to a report.


Rivian is a non-Tesla EV startup that had over 100,000 reservations for expensive off-roaders and under 25,000 vehicles in 2022, the report noted, and an R1S SUV has a price tag of around $78,000.

Merrill finally received his R1S on March 10, only to see it become an electric brick three days later, he said. The motor would not function and the wheels would not turn.

He would have to dig in his pockets and pay for an additional $2,100 related to repairs, Merrill said.

Before the incident, Merrill had specced out his vehicle to the tune of $85,626, the report noted.

“I was in a honeymoon phase,” he said. “It’s an incredible car, and it handles unlike anything I’ve ever driven.”

Trouble started for the 24-year-old when he attempted to test out its ability to traverse adverse road and trail conditions, according to Merrill.

“I hit about 2 1/2 feet of snow and it just stopped right there,” he said. “I had seen all the Rivian marketing campaigns with the cars just eating through the snow so it was kind of like, ‘man, this is disappointing.'”

The conditions in the Adirondacks activated the vehicle’s “safety features,” and the R1S became dead weight.

Eventually, it was pulled from the snow, placed on a flatbed, and shipped off for repairs.

A Rivian representative contacted Merrill and offered to cover the repairs but not the $2,100 bill, according to a report.

When the R1S was finally returned, a message on its dash informed Merrill to return it to the service center.

“The attitude the whole time from customer service was that a Rivian owner should be able to handle this, no problem,” Merrill said. “They just think this should be nothing for me and it’s not nothing.”


After the ordeal, Merrill is looking to trade the R1S in for an internal combustion truck.

“The [R1S] is super impressive and I want the company to do well,” he said. “I think I’m just not the right person to be an early adopter.”

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