Just weeks after Lime said it pulled some of its electric scooters from the streets of major cities over their alleged potential to catch fire, it has now issued a global recall of some of its scooters over claims that they can break apart during use.
A spokesperson for the company told Gizmodo in a statement by email that it was “decommissioning all Okai scooters in the global fleet” as a precaution but declined to comment on how many it would be pulling from the streets.
“We are actively looking into reports that scooters manufactured by Okai may break and are working cooperatively with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the relevant agencies internationally to get to the bottom of this,” the Lime spokesperson said. “The vast majority of Lime’s fleet is manufactured by other companies and decommissioned Okai scooters are being replaced with newer, more advanced scooters considered best in class for safety. We don’t anticipate any real service disruptions.”
Okai did not immediately return Gizmodo’s request for comment.
Reporting on the global recall on Saturday, the Washington Post said it spoke to one Lime employee tasked with charging the company’s e-scooters overnight who said he found cracking in Lime’s baseboards in an estimated 20 percent of the scooters he handled.
The juicer, a man in his 40s named “Ted,” asked that his last name not be used for fear of retribution. He said that a few weeks after he began working for Lime in July, he began noticing cracks in scooter baseboards and broken scooters on the street. He estimated that he found baseboard cracks in about 20 percent of the scooters he picked up to charge. Eventually, he highlighted the issue in a lengthy Reddit post that included multiple photos of broken scooters.
The employee reportedly made several attempts to flag the problem to Lime in emails, but the company did not respond. Lime declined the Post’s request for comment on the account.
This is the second time in less than a month that Lime has had to answer for potential dangers with its scooters. Earlier this month, Lime engaged in a public tiff with one of its manufacturers, Segway Ninebot, after Lime claimed that batteries made by the company and used in its own e-scooters could “result in the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire.”
“All vulnerable scooters were quickly removed from circulation, minimally impacting service to our Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe markets,” Lime said in a statement last month. “At no time were riders or members of the public put at risk. Unfortunately, despite our efforts, we’ve recently received an unconfirmed report that another Segway Ninebot scooter model may also be vulnerable to battery failure, which we are currently investigating.”
At the time, Segway stood by its products and responded to the claims with a jab that it thought Lime’s “statement was not based on a good understanding of battery technology.”