Electric scooters, or “E-Scooters,” can cause significant injuries when they malfunction, which can lead to lawsuits. Many e-scooter sharing companies are aware of the design defects that cause the malfunctions, but they have delayed addressing them, putting riders in unwarranted jeopardy. Below are several common ways that e-scooters can malfunction.
Loose Handlebars Can Cause You to Lose Control
If the handlebars on your e-scooter are even slightly loose, you can lose control of it. You will have a harder time turning the e-scooter, making it harder to keep your balance. Also, the break and throttle are both located on the handlebars; they are less likely to work properly if the handlebars are loose.
Handlebars Can Pop Off
While riding the e-scooter, many riders have noticed the handlebars not only coming loose but popping off entirely. Because the throttle and brake are located on the handlebar, the rider is placed in serious danger if the handlebars come off. Unfortunately, manufacturers seem to use cheap parts to make the handlebars, causing them to break more easily, and they are slow to fix the flaw.
On the e-scooter, the throttle is the most fragile piece. But because it is made of cheap parts, like the handlebars, and dozens of people use the e-scooter throughout the day, the throttle can start to stick. A sticky throttle can cause huge problems for riders. For instance, it will make it hard to accelerate to the right speed, which is dangerous if you are trying to cross a street. And it can make it difficult to keep your balance when you expect to reach a certain speed and suddenly slow down.
The Post Can Break or Fall Off
The pole that connects the e-scooter's deck (the thing you stand on while riding) and the handlebars can detach completely. If this happens, you will fall off the e-scooter, and depending on how fast you are going, the post detaching can put you at serious risk of harm. The post is reinforced, but it is made from parts designed for singular consumer use, not dozens of users per day.
Rotating Front Wheel
The front wheel of an e-scooter can turn 90 degrees, meaning it can point directly to the side, perpendicular to the deck. If your e-scooter's front wheel does this while you are riding, you will fly over the handlebars and land on the cement. And this can happen anywhere. It is not a rare occurrence. The wheels on e-scooters are so small that they become susceptible to turning when going over small rocks, riding on uneven pavement, or even if some grass gets in your way. E-scooter manufacturers have yet to address this issue, so as of now, nothing is preventing you from losing control when this happens.
One of the scariest e-scooter malfunctions is how the brakes suddenly turn on without warning. Essentially, you are riding down the street, and without touching the brakes, they pull back without warning. When you face a sudden loss in momentum, it can cause you to completely fall off the scooter – flying off to the side or over the handlebars. This happens so often with e-scooters that the company Lime (a popular e-scooter brand) had to recall thousands of e-scooters.
Brakes Can Fail to Work Well
Often, especially when riding downhill, many e-scooters will take way too long to slow down, and rarely do they make it to a safe stop. If you are descending a hill, or this happens while you are on the road, being unable to brake effectively could cause you to accelerate further, putting yourself, and the people in your path, at risk for significant injuries.
Shutting Down in the Middle of the Ride
If the scooter runs out of battery power, it will shut down without warning, even if you are in the middle of the ride. When this happens, you may lose control over the e-scooter, falling off to the side or over the handlebars.
The platform that e-scooter riders stand on is called the “deck.” It arguably takes the most stress, especially when riding on rough roads. If the deck breaks, it is incredibly hard to keep control over the e-scooter.
Batteries Can Catch Fire
E-scooters tend to have lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and catch fire if they are not charged properly, causing you to crash.
E-scooter companies are notorious for moving slowly when addressing dangerous defects in their products. A skilled personal injury attorney can file a claim against them on your behalf.