The Rivian R1T and its SUV sibling the R1S are innovative vehicles with unique features. An owner recently found out exactly how the emergency or parking brake functions through unintended trial and error by pressing the Park button. And they just happened to be on the highway when they did it.
First posted over on the Rivian Group Facebook page and picked up by The Drive, R1T owner Daniel Goldburg kindly posted what initially was a warning to other Rivian drivers. “Dangerous… has anyone pressed the park button by mistake while driving?” he asks the group. Goldburg was attempting to activate his windshield washer jets but simply hit the wrong button.
It turns out that if you hit and then hold the park button while the car is in motion that it’ll decelerate rapidly. As Goldburg puts it, he “let go of the button quickly… and there was no issue. But I could see someone doing this and it potentially causing an accident.”
More: Here’s How Far A Rivian R1T Can Tow 10,000 Lbs In Freezing Temperatures
Thankfully, other owners chimed in not long after to explain what was going on. Pressing and holding the Park button activates the Rivian’s emergency brake. It’s even in the owner’s manual under “Emergency Deceleration.” There, it tells owners “If the brakes don’t work properly, press and hold the Park button to immediately decelerate. An emergency deceleration notification appears on the driver display.”
It also notes that if you release the Park button the vehicle will stop decelerating. Owners can also press the accelerator pedal to cancel the emergency deceleration. That’s certainly similar to what Goldburg seems to have experienced. Interestingly, he’s not the only Rivian owner to claim that they’ve made the same mistake.
“Even after participating in this post this morning I hit the park button to cycle the windshield wipers today,” said one comment. “Ive [sic] done it too. Scared the crap out of me. I don’t like it. It’s where cruise functions are located,” read another. A third comment about it said “Yup. Same happened to me while trying to learn the cruise control functions. Pucker factor was off the charts. I was surprised the truck tried to stop.”
The potentially troublesome design isn’t unique to Rivian vehicles though. One commenter called out Tesla for an identical design.