OneWheel Recall Issued After Dozens of Rider Injuries Due to “Pushback” Feature
About 300,000 Onewheel electric skateboards are being recalled following numerous reports of rider injuries, often linked to a controversial “pushback” feature, which can cause the OneWheel to nosedive suddenly and throw users onto the ground.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the Onewheel recall on September 29, warning that the devices pose an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death, leading to calls for all owners of the electric skateboards to stop using the devices immediately.
OneWheel “PushBack” Problems
The electric Onewheel skateboard can accelerate to speeds of about 20 miles per hour, while the rider balances on the supposedly self-righting board. However, designers decided to add a feature known as Onewheel “pushback”, which is supposed to give the rider physical resistance when the scooter is reaching its operational limit.
Some reports indicate that instead of riders just experiencing a little resistance, which could already upset their balance, sometimes the Onewheel stops suddenly, causing the nose to pitch down into ground, which is commonly referred to as a “nosedive”.
The CPSC warning echos allegations raised by a growing number of other individuals who are now pursuing Onewheel accident lawsuits, indicating that this and other design flaws make the electric skateboard unreasonably dangerous and defective.
The OneWheel recall notice now indicates that the CPSC considers the “pushback” feature a crash hazard, and is warning consumers to immediately stop using the recalled Onewheel skateboards.
“Future Motion has received dozens of reports of incidents involving the electric skateboards, including four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021 and injuries such as traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper-body fractures, lower-body fractures and ligament damage,” the CPSC indicates. “The reported deaths resulted from head trauma and, in at least three of those incidents, the rider was not wearing a helmet.”
All Onewheel Electric Skateboards Recalled
The recall involves all models of Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboards, including Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X and Onewheel GT.
The affected Onewheel skateboards were sold online and at independent shops nationwide from January 2014 through September 2023 for between $1,050 and $2,200. They were manufactured in the United States and distributed by Future Motion, of California.
According to the CPSC, Future Motion is offering to issue a refund in the form of store credit for those with older models, such as the original Onewheel and Onewheel+. However, consumers with the Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, or Onewheel+ XR models will be able to update the firmware on their device through the Onewheel app.
This update appears to replace the pushback feature with a Haptic Buzz alert, so that instead of the device suddenly stopping when the limits have been exceeded, it will issue a tactile and audible buzzing sensation when the device is pushed to its limits, has a low battery or some other error.
Depending on the model, this update will be available within the next one to six weeks, according to the recall notice. Consumers can visit https://recall.onewheel.com/safety for more information on the updates and to arrange for a refund for the older models.
Onewheel Accident Lawsuits
Given common questions of fact and law raised in complaints now pending throughout the federal court system, the manufacturer filed a motion with the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) last month, seeking to consolidate and centralize all Onewheel recall lawsuits before one U.S. District Judge for coordinated discovery and pretrial proceedings as part of a Onewheel MDL (multidistrict litigation).
According to the motion, there are currently at least 31 product liability lawsuits pending in 15 different federal courts nationwide involving problems with Onewheel electric skateboards, with the largest number filed in Florida federal court.
If an MDL is established, each individual claim would be transferred to one U.S. District Judge for pretrial proceedings and a series of bellwether trial designed to help the parties gauge how juries may respond to certain evidence and testimony that will be repeated throughout the litigation. However, if settlements for the Onewheel electric skateboard lawsuits are not reached to resolve large numbers of claims, each individual lawsuit may later be returned back to the U.S. District Court where it was originally filed for trial.
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