E-scooters can be crazy dangerous even if they’re functioning properly, but especially if they experience glitches or design flaws that can put riders at risk. In Switzerland, an alleged Lime glitch has reportedly left electric scooter riders with serious injuries.
TechCrunch reported Saturday that Lime has pulled its whole fleet of e-scooters from the streets of Basel and Zurich after reports of sudden, unexpected braking. TechCrunch pointed to an investigation by the Swiss media site Watson detailing three alleged incidents of unexpected braking that left riders with a broken elbow, dislocated shoulder, and abrasions.
TechCrunch obtained a copy of an email the company reportedly sent to users that said an investigation into the apparent glitch was underway, and that the company was looking into whether “a software update could be causing a reboot during the ride, triggering the theft protection.” Lime wrote that it was testing each device to safeguard against future problems.
As the result of having to pull its scooters from Swiss cities, the company reportedly issued riders coupons for future 15-minutes rides for the inconvenience, per the email to customers.
You’d likely be hard-pressed to name an e-scooter company with a pristine record of zero injuries, as the transportation devices can be extremely dangerous. The Washington Post last year reported a significant uptick in emergency room visits for electric scooter injuries as companies continue their aggressive takeover of cities across the globe. But Lime—which is backed by Uber and reports 10 million riders in more than 100 cities globally—has faced a significant number of reports of glitchy e-scooters.
In November, the company issued a global recall of motorized scooters manufactured by Okai after riders claimed they broke apart during use. Prior to that, Lime and Segway duked it out over claims that batteries produced by Segway Ninebot and used in Lime scooters could catch fire. (Lime pointed the finger at Segway, but the latter claimed that the issue was a maintenance problem.)
Basically, this most recent incident isn’t exactly Lime’s first brush with component problems. But we’ve reached out for more information and will update if we hear back.