With how common they are these days, it's hard to claim to be a real automaker until you've had a major recall. Today, Lucid entered the big leagues. The company just recalled 203 Air EVs, according to Reuters.
The recall covers a potential defect in the front strut damper. According to the company, about 1 percent of the recalled vehicles are expected to show this defect, which the company says is the result of improper assembly by a supplier. Lucid says it is not aware of any case of the part failing. The company initiated the recall itself and will inspect and replace any component showing the defect.
The most surprising part, though, is that upstart Lucid has already gotten 203 Air Dream Editions to customers. With a $169,000 price tag and little name recognition before last year, it's nothing to sneeze at. That likely would not have been possible without a massive investment by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund, which has taken majority control of Lucid in an attempt to reduce the country's financial reliance on oil income. So far, the automaker has been one of its most lucrative investments, and the company is planning to use the seed capital to push out more accessible versions of the Air to build a serious EV business worldwide.
This recall has already hurt the company, though, with shares of the automaker falling over 4 percent today. The recall itself is not a major issue—more cars are recalled every year than built, with no manufacturer avoiding them entirely—but it stokes concern that Lucid may face similar quality issues to other new-era EV manufacturers, including Tesla. Lucid, for its part, has spent a lot of time and money trying to ensure that the company doesn't have so many quality control headaches. Ultimately we'll have to wait to find out whether this is a proactive move by a company that is serious about quality or the first indication that it isn't yet ready for mass production.