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Rivian's Delivery Delays Frustrating Some Early Adopters: Report

Rivian's recent decision to prioritize the production of models featuring specific interior and exterior colors and wheels has led to the unusual situation that some early reservation holders are getting their vehicles delivered later than customers who placed preorders years after them.

This has left many customers unhappy, Reuters reports, such as Jeff Wells, an accountant from Southern California who placed a reservation for a Rivian R1T in early 2019. Despite being one of the first in line for a truck, Wells has become increasingly frustrated to see people who placed their order years after him take delivery of their trucks while he keeps waiting.

"It's just annoying and it feels like there's no order to how they're doing things."

The man is one of dozens of reservation holders to complain in online forums and groups recently about unreliable delivery timelines and delays. The complaints started to add up last month after Rivian said it was prioritizing the production of vehicles with Black Mountain and Forest Edge interiors over the Ocean Coast interior

Gallery: 2022 Rivian R1T: First Drive Review

At the time, Rivian said that "building in few build combinations reduces complexity with our suppliers and in the plant and allows us to build a greater number of vehicles." However, that also meant many early reservation holders determined to stick with their original color preferences saw their orders delayed. 

In a statement to Reuters, Rivian said delivery dates are not just based on the timing of a preorder, adding that it was exploring new ways for customers to get their electric trucks more quickly.

Rivian's supporters have largely remained loyal despite the controversial price hikes announced in early spring. Preorders reached 90,000 vehicles even after the pricing changes, which apply only to new reservations placed after March 1.

Delivery delays could prove costly for Rivian as other automakers launch their own electric pickup trucks, including the Ford F-150 Lightning. For example, R1T reservation holder Jeff Wells also has a preorder for a Lightning and says he will go with the Ford if it comes through first—despite the fact that he likes the Rivian more.

On May 11, the EV maker said it was working on overhauling its order system to separate reservations from the configuration process, adding that the change allowed for pricing and timing transparency.