- Dockless scooter company Skip pulled scooters from Washington, DC and San Francisco after one of caught fire in DC late last week.
A scooter on fire in the District. pic.twitter.com/UUZZ2Fo8mP— Teddy Amenabar (@TeddyAmen) May 30, 2019
- On May 31, the company said it took its scooters off DC streets while it investigates the fire, which appeared to start when the scooter was parked, though Skip said it had no reason to believe there is a "systemic fleet issue." Skip also removed scooters from San Francisco, but the San Francisco Chronicle reported the company will re-deploy scooters this week.
- The Washington Post reported that Skip officials believe the fire started around the scooter's battery pack, and they have also not ruled out foul play of some kind.
The fire in a busy part of the city left many bemused, especially as it appeared to happen out of nowhere. The company has moved quickly to make sure their dockless scooters are safe for further use, though it has emphasized that it looks to have been an isolated incident.
We currently have no reason to believe that this affects any other vehicles in our fleet. We are investigating all potential causes, including foul play. We will share as we learn more.— Skip (@SkipScooters) May 30, 2019
This latest black eye comes after a tricky period for dockless scooter and electric bike companies, which have been buffeted by concerns over the safety of vehicles. Lyft pulled e-bikes from New York, San Francisco and Washington, DC because of brake problems and in February Lime announced it had detected a firmware bug that, "under rare circumstances," was causing scooters to brake suddenly.
Lime recalled scooters following a 2018 defect that batteries would catch fire. The mobility company received reports of "the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire" on certain scooters.
If problems can be safely, transparently and quickly resolved, normal operations can resume.