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Lime—the mobility startup dominating the bike and scooter-sharing service industry—is recalling some of its scooters. Following the discovery that a “manufacturing defect could result in the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire,” in its scooters, the company told the Washington Post it pulled more than 2,000 models.
In a statement, Lime said it learned of the potential issue in August. Related specifically to the “Ninebot scooter batteries,” the problem impacted “less than 0.01% of our scooter fleet.” Despite the low number of potentially affected scooters, the company pulled a large number out of caution. The only people likely to be affected by the recall are those in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe.
“At no time were riders or members of the public put at risk,” the company said. It listed the steps already underway to combat the issue and prevent further problems. Until it is confident that the battery issues have been resolved, Lime will only allow Segway Ninebot scooters to be charged at its facilities, which will be staffed exclusively by “employees specially trained for the safe handling of these particular batteries,” and a new daily diagnosis will monitor “battery health and efficiency.”
According to the Post, an incident in August prompted a visit from the fire department after a scooter burst into flames at the company’s Lake Tahoe facility.
The company received another unconfirmed report that a different model may be similarly vulnerable to issues with its battery. Other scooters may “sometimes break when subjected to repeated abuse,” the company says, which seems obvious.
Electric scooters have seen a sharp rise in popularity in recent months, despite a similar rise in reports of injuries and pedestrian endangerment. A pending class-action lawsuit against the company for “gross negligence” may have more immediate financial consequences.
Nahila Bonfiglio reports on geek culture and gaming. Her work has also appeared on KUT's Texas Standard (Austin), KPAC-FM (San Antonio), and the Daily Texan.