First hoverboards and now Lime has battery fire issues. Lime scooter reported that there is a “manufacturing defect” in some of its scooters “could result in the battery smoldering, or in some cases catching fire.” It also reports “issues” with some baseboards breaking under extreme conditions.
Lime stated that fires i’mpacted less than 0.01% of our scooter fleet.
Lime uses many different manufacturers for the production of for bikes and scooters. One of those manufacturers is Segway Ninebot. To help identify the health of its scooters, they used a color visualization method to indicate their functional status: purple for special requests and customer service tickets; red for scooters that require immediate attention; yellow indicates a need for charging; and green codes are fully operational scooters.
In August of this year, Lime learned of a potential issue with some Ninebot scooter batteries. The issue arose in one of the two batteries housed on early versions of the scooter; in several isolated instances, a manufacturing defect could result in the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire.
Lime stated that it took the issue very seriously. Immediately upon learning of the defect, the company worked with Segway Ninebot to create a software program to detect the potentially affected batteries. They then worked independently to create an even more thorough software program to ensure that no potentially faulty scooters remained in circulation. When an affected battery was identified — with a red code — they say that they promptly deactivated the scooter so that no members of the public could ride or charge it.
They claim all vulnerable scooters were quickly removed from circulation, minimally impacting service to Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe markets.
The company reported “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.”
To deal with the situation
- All Segway Ninebot scooters will now only be charged at Lime’s scooter storage facilities and will no longer be available to Juicers for afterhours charging until they are satisfied that there are no remaining issues with these scooter models.
- Lime storage and charging facilities globally will be staffed 24/7 by employees specially trained for the safe handling of these particular batteries.
- Lime has initiated a new daily diagnostic testing program for all scooters in all global markets, regardless of manufacturer, to constantly monitor battery health and efficiency.
The second hardware challenge Lime is experiencing, is reports that the baseboards from one scooter manufacturer, Okai, can sometimes break when subjected to repeated abuse. As part of its scooter deployment process, Lime conducts rigorous stress and safety testing on all models, including the Okai model in use. Lime claims it also consistently and thoroughly educate o riders on the correct and safest ways to ride. Nevertheless, it’s possible for Okai baseboards to crack or break if ridden off a curb at high speed. Lime is currently studying this issue and incorporating these learnings into its design process. Scooters are a new mode of transportation and Lime, together with the micro-mobility industry, remains committed to ensuring everyone knows how to ride safely.
The statement concluded, “Lime takes full responsibility fo orur scooters. The safety of our riders, Juicers and community is our highest priority, and we will continue to hold our equipment manufacturers and ourselves to the highest possible standard.”