- Lime has issued a global recall of its scooters made by Chinese manufacturer Okai due to risks of the scooters breaking in half while in use, according to The Washington Post and others.
- The company has reportedly removed all Okai scooters from every city in which it operates. However, it is unclear exactly how many of the scooters have been recalled. Lime told The Post it is "working cooperatively with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and the relevant authorities internationally to get to the bottom of this.”
- "Safety is Lime’s highest priority," the company said in a statement. “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.”
This recall comes less than two weeks after Lime issued a recall of its Segway Ninebot scooters due to concerns that a manufacturing defect could cause some batteries to catch fire. And while manufacturing defects and business challenges are not uncommon, especially among new technology startups, this is a streak of bad luck for the industry leader.
Concerns about some scooters breaking in half are not necessarily new, considering they're not merely concerns — many users have documented photos of scooters broken near the front wheel of the device. And the problem isn't exclusive to Lime: Other companies such as Skip have suffered from broken scooters, as evidenced by Instagram account pdxscootermess, which documents misplaced or broken scooters in Portland, OR.
The Washington Post also reported that some contractors and mechanics had warned Lime of the breakage after noticing cracks in scooter baseboards. However, Lime was was hesitant to address the defects.
Lime and other dockless scooter companies often tout safety as their biggest priority, and have even put their money where their mouth is by heavily investing in programs that promote rider education and helmet use. However, riders are only as safe as the vehicle they're using, and it is in Lime's — and its competitors' — interest to immediately assess safety concerns and the manufacturing integrity of its scooters before promoting further use.