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Lucid Motors Issues Its First Safety Recall Over Potentially Faulty Shock Absorbers

Supplier-assembled suspension component could cause sudden drop in ride height, vibration, and damage to front-end brake lines. Lucid expects a tiny fraction of the recalled cars to need replacement dampers.

Lucid has issued its first recall with the NHTSA after discovering a potential fault in the assembly of the dampers used on its flagship Air Dream Edition. Some of the dampers, which are the same Bilstein Damptronic Sky units used on the Mercedes S-Class, could have been supplied with a snap ring installed in the wrong orientation. Lucid isn't aware of any parts failures yet, but wants to check more than 200 examples of its flagship sedan to make sure its customers aren't put at risk. The company expects around 1% of the 203 recalled vehicles to need replacement front strut dampers. The damper issue appears to be separate from the one affecting this YouTuber's Air Dream Edition steering.

Here's a video from Bilstein showing how snap rings work to set ride height on their off-road shocks:

What Could Happen?
Lucid sent an email to affected customers on Monday night informing them of the need to bring their cars into a Service Center to be checked over. The main danger of the ring breaking is a sudden drop in ride height, and the issues that follow with a loss of control and damage to surrounding parts:

“This condition may result in sudden loss of ground clearance, vehicle vibration, and front brake line damage, increasing the risk of a crash.”

The recall lets customers know what to look out for (other than a sudden listing to one side) in the form of warnings from the car's safety sensors. "Suspension Control Fault. Contact Customer Service" warns of damage to the damper's electrical connection, while "Brake Fluid Level Low. Refill Required, Contact Customer Service" indicates a leak in the brake line causing the fluid to drop below 81.9% of the recommended level.

Cutaway image of a Lucid Air showing its chassis and battery.Fixing The Issue
Lucid's recall notice informs customers that they can expect a minimum one hour wait while their cars are examined, rising to roughly four hours if the dampers do indeed need replacing. Lucid will naturally cover any and all fees related to the fix, and will provide loaner cars or alternative transport to affected customers. Lucid's stock price fell more than 4% yesterday as the news of the recall spread, falling by a further 4% as of writing today. The stock has taken a battering recently, and while the recall is for a supplier-provided part it'll be another headache for Lucid's management team ahead of the highly-anticipated Q4 2021 earnings call taking place on February 28th. The EV manufacturer recently announced another hiring event for production workers, with Lucid Air manufacturing reportedly running at full speed.

The recall is not the end of the world, these things happen, but with some (loud) investors knowing little about the company other than hoping for it to be the next Tesla we could see LCID dip below the $20 mark before it returns to a climb on the strength of its award-winning debut vehicle and class-leading proprietary technology.

To view the recall notice in full click here.

Images by Lucid Motors, video by Bilstein licensed by CC BY 2.0.

James Walker is an automotive journalist at Torque News focusing on Lucid Motors. If it's got wheels he's interested, and he's looking forward to seeing what kind of cars the EV revolution brings us. Whether it's fast, slow, new, or old, James wants to have a look around it and share it in print and on video, ideally with some twisty roads involved. You can connect with James on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.