Electric Scooter Rentals & the Risk of Defective Products
Electric scooter rentals have quickly grown in popularity recently and have become a common sight around several cities around the world, including Detroit, but they remain a rather controversial mode of transportation for several different reasons.
First of all, there’s a lot of debate around the safety of electric scooters. A lot of people are confused about where electric scooters should be ridden. In some areas, scooters are encouraged to be ridden in the street, but some authorities on road safety don’t believe that many roadways are designed to safely accommodate electric scooters. There is also a lot of concern that electric scooters on sidewalks pose safety risks for pedestrians, such as from dockless scooters being left on sidewalks in a way that poses a trip hazard or from pedestrians being hit by scooter riders.
Another safety issue surrounding electric scooter rentals involves the quality of the scooters themselves. In a March 2019 study by Consumer Reports, 8% of users said that a part of a scooter they rented had malfunctioned or did not work correctly, which can put riders in danger. The companies that make these electric scooters available to rent have a responsibility to make sure their products aren’t unnecessarily unsafe for people to use. This means performing regular maintenance on scooters and removing unsafe scooters from use. This is particularly important not just because of the wear and tear you can expect to come with normal use, but because of the fact that many riders do not use the scooters as directed, which can potentially damage the devices.
There’s also the risk that scooters could have defective components. Once rental companies are aware of those product defects, it’s extremely important for them to remove those scooters from use immediately so that the problem can be fixed. In November 2018, Lime issued a recall for some models of their electric scooters after there were concerns that the scooters were prone to breaking apart while in use. Some mechanics who worked on repairing Lime’s scooters and “juicers,” who charge scooters overnight, claimed they had reported issues with the scooters breaking apart, but those reports had not been taken very seriously.
The news of scooters breaking apart wasn’t even the first time Lime had run into problems with defective products. In October 2018, Lime announced that they recalled about 2,000 scooters over concerns that the batteries could smolder or catch on fire. In that case, one scooter had burst into flames while being charged at a Lime facility. The defect was later blamed on a faulty battery manufactured by another company. In this case, concerns weren’t just raised about consumer safety, but also employee safety. Since the scooter caught on fire while being charged, some were concerned that juicers, who charge Lime scooters in their own homes, were facing an unnecessary danger.
Accidents involving electric scooters can be very complicated and if you’ve been injured, it’s very important to talk to a lawyer as soon as possible, especially if you believe the injury was caused by a defective product. At Goodwin & Scieszka, you’ll be able to talk to a defective product lawyer who can help answer your questions and figure out how to move forward with your case. Contact us today to get started.