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The fast-growing company of electronic scooters, Lime, decided to immediately remove one of the company’s brands from all cities in the world after determining that the scooters could no longer be used.
The decision to suddenly remove the street scooters came several weeks after the company said that the same model sometimes breaks “when subjected to repeated abuse.”
But on Friday, in response to questions from the Washington Post about scooters broken down under normal driving conditions, Lime said he was “investigating reports that scooters made by Okai could crash and work cooperatively with the company.” “Security of the consumer products of the US Commission and the competent authorities at the international level to get to the bottom of things”.
Okai is a Chinese manufacturer of scooters and other products. No one could be contacted at an email address or phone number listed on their website, or at a telephone number provided by Lime.
Lime said it would remove all Okai scooters used in its fleets, but company officials said it was difficult to determine the exact number of scooters involved in the recall and refused to provide an estimate. They also refused to reveal the number of US cities that own these devices.
Cyclists in cities across the country report regularly on social media that they have seen lime scooters split in half, often where the pedestal meets the staff.
“Safety is Lime’s main priority,” the company said in a statement. “The vast majority of the Lime fleet is made by other companies, and Okai scooters removed from the market are being replaced by newer and more advanced scooters that are considered best-in-class for their safety and service.”
The action comes several weeks after Lime, one of the largest scooter companies in the country, admitted taking out thousands of street bikes this summer after discovering that a small number of them carried batteries that could ignite.
These scooters manufactured by the Segway Mobility Company, which rejected Lime’s claims that a manufacturing defect made the scooters vulnerable to fire.
Some employees, brokers and other affiliates of Lime say they concerned that the company has not advanced enough to address the fear of scooter theft.
An independent Lime contractor who loads the scooters overnight, known as the juicer, provided a copy of the emails that showed he had warned the company about the problem of breaking the scooters in September.
The juicer, a man in his forties called “Ted,” has asked that his last name not used for fear of reprisal. He said that a few weeks after starting to work for Lime in July, he began to notice cracks in the baseboards and breaks in the street. He estimated that he found cracks in the pedestal of almost 20% of the scooters he had picked up to load. Finally, he highlighted the problem in a long article on Reddit that included several photos of broken scooters.
In an email dated September 8, addressed to Lime’s technical support, Ted warned Lime of four scooters with “cracks undercover,” which he described as a “systematic problem.” It included photos and identification codes of each device. Ted also asked him about his payments to charge the devices.
A Lime employee responded to his email but did not take care of the defective scooters.
“Thanks for your email and our apologies for the challenge,” the employee wrote, referring to a separate question about the payment. “I have sent your payment to the finances, thank you for counting four to seven days for the shipment, the payment will present as a” bonus. “We thank you for your patience and understanding.
The message prompted Ted to respond with another request for security.
“I hope Lime’s team takes seriously the problem of the collapse of the scooter jumpers,” he wrote. “I dropped three scooters in the warehouse that were completely cracked in two and another four that had started to crack, and they all cracked in the same place.”
“I think it’s a design flaw that is starting to emerge,” he added.
Ted said the lime never responded. Lime refused to comment on his account.
A California lime mechanic, who is responsible for helping repair the aircraft, said employees at his warehouse who performed the daily maintenance of the company’s scooters had identified scooters that had cracked in recent months. This employee stated that the managers did not aggressively pursue these concerns. The mechanic spoke on condition of anonymity and did not want to identify the city where he worked for fear of revealing his identity.
The locomotive engineer, who said the employees were monitoring the life of the scooters after their deployment on city streets, said cracks could form in the socket a few days after the devices put on the streets. The mechanic provided a video showing the employees performing tests in which the lime scooters break after some short jumps. After informing the company about the company’s Slack messaging system, another mechanic told a manager that the device could peak when the user weighed only 145 pounds, according to the images in The Post discussions.
“I would say that these are not safe for public use,” the other mechanic wrote. “It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured … otherwise here, somewhere else.”
Responding to a message on Slack, a manager said that she had “expressed concern” about the broken scooters and told that mechanics should continue to test the problem scooters and “work in the building”. The manager wrote that he would share images of similar techniques that he “collected from other markets.”
Lime refused to comment on the mechanic’s statements or Slack’s exchange.
A spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission said the agency did not pre-approve products before entering the market. If consumers report and verify if a “substantial risk to the product” detected, the agency could work with a company to establish a recall.
Since Lime launched its scooters this spring, two people died while using the device and others were seriously injured, according to authorities. When the police found a scooter that Jacoby Stoneking was driving before being hit in the head by a forceful force in the early hours of September 1, the plane split in two, although few details are known about this accident, according to the police and the police. lime officials. The 24-year-old from East Dallas died at the hospital the next day.
Stoneking’s death echoed Stephen Williams, a 29-year-old Dallas man who said he injure after his motorcycle broke in two on a busy street on October 10. On the floor the chest first. A week later, Williams said, his ankle, knee, back, and neck still suffered.
Looking at his accident, Williams, who works as a data analyst at a technology company, recalled the details of the Stoneking accident and began to wonder if there was any trend. He started looking for examples of broken Lime scooters, recording more than 40 instances on social networks, reporting and Reddit, including six that he personally found. Williams has included these figures in a large study on electronic scooters that he has provided to the Texas Department of Transportation in Dallas, as well as to Lime officials.
Their verdict: in a city very dependent on the automobile for personal mobility, scooters have the potential to “pick up” the city, allowing people to go to nearby areas without creating more traffic. But, he said, he considers the Lime Okai model too dangerous for him.
“I am extremely disappointed, perhaps betrayed, by these devices,” said Williams, who refuses to use another file until the company improves the safety of the scooters. “It’s disappointing for me because the usefulness of these devices is very deep.”