Crash Test Ratings

alanpine

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Hi all. I preordered an R1T last March and am really looking forward to learning more about it in the coming months. The biggest potential deal breakers for me are insurance costs and crash test ratings. I remember reading on the Rivian website that the vehicles are engineered to score top ratings on crash tests but that's not enough for me to commit to buying the vehicle. In looking at IIHS and NHTSA ratings, some vehicles have crash ratings published when they're released but some lag behind. I think the Model 3's ratings came out a couple months after they started delivering them.

Has anyone discussed this at the events where they've interacted with engineers? The only one close to me in NJ was in NYC last year and I couldn't make it. I'm waiting for the next east coast chance to see them.
 

Technoninja

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Hi Alanpine, I wanted to clarify a bit about safety ratings and why it seems like there is a delay in ratings releases.

NCAP (NHTSA) conducts it's safety tests on a selection of the most popular and interesting models. In most cases, these are new cars that just entered the market, but they can also test cars that are already on sale. The cars are chosen by the NCAP committee.

An OEM must nominate and pay for their vehicle to be tested by IIHS and the testing process takes several months.

No vehicle safety ratings are published when "vehicles are released" because either the vehicle has not been or is in the process of being nominated, or testing has not been completed. That is why there seems to be a lag in rating releases. It is possible that Rivian will have their vehicles rated for safety by IIHS or NCAP, but the vehicle has to be in production and on the market in order to have enough vehicles available to test (IIHS testing uses a minimum of 3 vehicles for the various crash tests, in addition to testing various trims with varying available safety features and headlights.) Therefore, it will most likely be some time before it's possible for Rivian to even nominate their vehicles to IIHS or to be considered for testing by NHSTA; you could be waiting for a while to see safety ratings of the R1T, if Rivian and NCAP choose to test it.

Hope this helps!
 

RefugeEV

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Some of us first adopters who take delivery early will be putting our faith in Rivian's engineering. With the attention they've shown to skateboard/battery safety and protection (they actually tested the strength of the skateboard underpanel's ballistic casing by dropping the R1T/R1S right onto rocks from a height of a couple feet), I believe the rest of the vehicle will be just as safe.
 
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alanpine

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Interesting thoughts. I definitely appreciate the clarification on the process of crash testing. I figured that there may have been a better chance for IIHS testing if that process helped to set insurance rates for the new vehicles since so many insurance companies and associations are associated with IIHS.

I'm willing to put some faith in Rivian as an early adopter, but this is definitely an area where I'll need some more information before committing. I trust in battery capacity, off road capability, convenience, but I need more on safety. I don't mind holding my spot in line for a little bit though if it gets me the info I need.
 

ajdelange

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(IIHS testing uses a minimum of 3 vehicles for the various crash tests,
I put "uses" in bold because I don't think a manufacturer puts the tested vehicles back into his inventory. I doubt Rivian has enough vehicles at this point that they can spare a few for destructive testing.
 

Technoninja

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I put "uses" in bold because I don't think a manufacturer puts the tested vehicles back into his inventory. I doubt Rivian has enough vehicles at this point that they can spare a few for destructive testing.
That is exactly right. And no, they do not put the tested vehicles back into inventory. :)
 

Technoninja

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Some of us first adopters who take delivery early will be putting our faith in Rivian's engineering. With the attention they've shown to skateboard/battery safety and protection (they actually tested the strength of the skateboard underpanel's ballistic casing by dropping the R1T/R1S right onto rocks from a height of a couple feet), I believe the rest of the vehicle will be just as safe.
There is a LOT more to vehicle safety. You cannot assume a vehicle is safe based solely on that, considering if you get into an accident, the platform and the battery are not what is going to save your life, or the life of your loved ones. They literally have nothing to do with occupant safety. Other than making sure the battery doesn't explode or catch fire.
 

ajdelange

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Yes, but for the current Li ion battery technology protection of the battery is very important. If a cell is punctured it can short and explode and the explosion trigger a chain reaction. This is why Rivian has shielded their battery pack with kevlar (or some similar material). Also, in these vehicles, the battery is a structural member and thus the structural integrity of the vehicle depends on the structural integrity of the battery. But of course there is more to it than just the battery.
 

electruck

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I'm curious whether there are any safety concerns with what gets placed in the frunk. I know ICE vehicles are designed to ensure the engine slides under the passenger compartment in a front impact. Is there any risk of items stored in the frunk penetrating the bulkhead during a front impact and injuring front seat passengers? I'm assuming the structure has been designed with this in mind but it would be nice for Rivian to share some info in this regard.

I'm also curious about the rear crumple zone and how much intrusion into the cargo area and possibly even the 3rd row there might be in a rear end collision. I'm planning to transport my dogs in the back so want to feel confident they will be adequately protected.
 

eltrkadvntrr

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Given how much tech is included in this truck, I am sure there is zero chance of anything protruding into the cabin from the frunk area. Vehicles go through extensive cad simulation as well as actual crash data. Like most vehicles in a crash, engineers will design a crash to have components (suspension, engine, front subframe) to travel under the vehicle to eliminate impact of the firewall. The same goes for a rear collision. The talent at Rivian is amazing, so I wouldnt put too much worry regarding crash. The liability is too great to offer a sub par product.
 

electruck

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I tend to be of a trust but verify mindset. I trust that Rivian will be as safe or safer than anything else but it certainly would be nice to have that verified.
 

Coast2Coast

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Doesn't it seem unlikely Rivian will release crash and safety information anytime soon? As Technoninja and others mentioned earlier, IIHS and NHSTA ratings are released on vehicles in production. Rivian may release some crash and safety test results but they would be internal company data and, as you say, we'd have to trust without being able to verify those numbers. This is a predicament for early reservation holders, as third party crash and safety test numbers are unlikely to appear before mid-2021. Late 2021, early 2022 would seem more likely.

I wonder if Rivian could be encouraged to engage a reputable third party testing company and to publish test results as early as possible?
 

ajdelange

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They can advertise the safety related aspects of their design but until some respected testing agency actually does tests there isn't much beyond that they can do.
 

electruck

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Yes, while I would love to see video of the test scenarios prior to delivery I don't expect that will be possible (at least not without deferring my order which I don't intend to do). I will have to trust for now but would still like to see the crash test results in the future in case I might need to adjust how I load the vehicle. I certainly don't anticipate any issues that would cause me to rethink the purchase.
 

davrow_R1T

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I'm curious whether there are any safety concerns with what gets placed in the frunk.
I would not recommend carrying your case of hand grenades in the frunk. Under the passenger seats is clearly a better solution. ;)
 
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