What Types of E-Scooter Malfunctions Lead to Significant Injuries?
Electric scooters, or “E-Scooters,” can cause significant injuries when malfunctioning, leading to lawsuits. A massive fleet of dockless electric scooters has been spreading to counties across the state of California.
As companies are starting to build their e-scooters, high-quality standards are not always met. Thus, there are now more cases of defective or malfunctioning electric scooters.
Reports of faulty electric scooters and scooter injuries are not uncommon. For example, Lime has issued recalls due to different scooter malfunctions.
One of the recalls of defective Lime scooters was related to the possibility of their batteries bursting into flames suddenly because of improper manufacturing procedures.
Another recall was for several defective baseboard scooters that could break in half based on someone's riding technique. There have also been reports of a Lime scooter software malfunction that could cause sudden and excessive breaking while riding it.
Simply put, defective e-scooters have the potential to cause serious personal injury. Since they are allowed on public streets, any e-scooter malfunctions near passing vehicles could result in severe injuries or death.
Many e-scooter-sharing companies, such as Bird and Lime, know 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 difficulty turning the e-scooter, making it harder to keep your balance. Also, the break and throttle are located on the handlebars; they are less likely to work correctly if they are loose.
In other words, even if the handlebars do not detach entirely, loose handlebars can make you lose control of an E-scooter. The throttle and brakes are located in the handlebars, so loose handlebars mean controls have been compromised.
Handlebars Can Pop Off
While riding the e-scooter, many riders have noticed the handlebars coming loose and popping off entirely. Because the throttle and brake are located on the handlebar, the rider is in grave 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. Because the rider grips the handlebars so tightly and often, they tend to break, causing a loss of control.
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 enormous problems for riders. For instance, it will make it hard to accelerate to the correct speed, which is dangerous if you are trying to cross a street. And it can make it challenging 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 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 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 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 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. A sudden loss in momentum can cause you to entirely fall off the scooter – flying off to the side or over the handlebars.
This happens so often with e-scooters that Lime (a famous 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 too long to slow down and rarely make it to a safe stop.
If you descend 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.
In other words, e-scooters can shut off while riding without a warning. This could happen when it runs out of battery power or you take the E-scooter over a geo-fence, an electrical boundary.
Lime and Bird draw them on maps to regulate where people take their e-scooters. Once crossing one of these boundaries, it can trigger a computer program and turn the e-scooter off.
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, keeping control over the e-scooter is incredibly hard. The deck takes much pressure on bumpy roads.
Early versions of e-scooter were made out of weak consumer parts rather than being made for commercial use. This means they tended to break, which would cause the rider to have difficulty keeping control of the e-scooter.
Batteries Can Catch Fire
E-scooters tend to have lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and catch fire if not charged properly, causing you to crash. You might lose control and crash if this malfunction happens during your ride.
Lime once recalled thousands of its e-scooters over their batteries catching fire. They said it was a manufacturing defect, but battery experts claimed that routine wear-and-tear of shared e-scooters could cause the problem.
E-scooter companies are notorious for moving slowly when addressing dangerous product defects. A skilled personal injury attorney can file a claim against them on your behalf.
We offer a free case evaluation and work on a contingency basis, meaning you don't pay any fees unless we win your case. Injury Justice Law Firm has offices in Los Angeles, California.