The popular electric scooter sharing company Lime has recalled one of its most popular models on streets throughout the United States, indicating that the scooters may break apart during use or catch on fire, posing a serious injury risk for riders.
According to a report by The Washington Post, a Lime scooter recall has been issued for certain devices manufactured by the Chinese Company Okai.
Neutron Holding, Inc., which does business under the brand name “Lime”, indicates that it is working with officials from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), due to issues related to battery smoldering and the electronic scooters breaking into two pieces. It is unclear how many Lime scooters may be impacted.
Lime officials told The Washington Post they would decommission all of the recalled scooters nationwide. The Okai scooters are part of Lime’s original fleet, which was also flagged earlier this year for smoldering batteries.
In August, Lime opened an investigation into problems with the electric scooters overheating, finding that approximately 2,000 scooters could be equipped with one of two batteries prone to overheat, smolder or catch on fire. Lime began replacing the batteries in the scooters earlier this year.
Since the original recall, Lime has become aware of dozens of reports of the scooters breaking apart while in use. Lime indicates this scenario could happen when the scooters are subjected to repeated abuse. Several reports indicate they are most vulnerable where the baseboard meets the stem; often where they break in half.
Lime representatives say the company is working with officials from the CPSC to remove the vulnerable scooters from its fleet and are also working to replace all Okai models with newer, more advanced scooters to keep riders safe.
Since scooter ride services became popular among almost every major city in the U.S. in recent months, hundreds of electronic scooter injury reports have surfaced, including a number of deaths nationwide.
Similar to bike-sharing services, scooter services like Lime, Bird and Spin are increasingly popular among city residents, allowing individuals to easily rent electric scooters for quick transportation, using an app that allows you to scan in your driver’s license to confirm the rider is at least 18 years old.
There are growing concerns over the injury risk posed by electronic scooter accidents, as the devices are not as safe as bicycles due to their instability, shorter wheelbases and smaller wheels, which may make riders vulnerable to imperfections in concrete or pavement. Along with roadway imperfections, and other possible hazards, the scooters are able to reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour, which could cause serious injuries.
In a report released earlier this year, co-chair of the emergency department at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Dr. Sam Torbati, said their division has seen more than one hundred scooter related injuries ranging from minor scratches to life-threatening traumas, with at least 40 percent of the injuries related to riders head and neck.
Recently, multiple plaintiffs filed an electric scooter class-action lawsuit accusing the manufacturers of gross negligence that has caused hundreds of injuries to its riders. The lawsuit was filed in October in the Los Angeles Superior Court on behalf of eight plaintiffs’ claims electric scooters are being put on the streets nationwide without adequate risk warnings, instructions or safety measures. The complaint names Bird, Lime, as well as the scooter manufacturers Segway and Xiaomi, as defendants.