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HomeBusinessNPR: Onewheel e-skateboards recalled after fatalities

NPR: Onewheel e-skateboards recalled after fatalities

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Future Motion, the manufacturer of Onewheel electric skateboards, is recalling all of its e-skateboards after four deaths were attributed to the products. The recall, which includes 300,000 boards, is being conducted in collaboration with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Initially, Future Motion resisted the CPSC’s push for a recall several months ago. However, the company has now agreed to the voluntary recall after receiving reports of incidents involving the electric skateboards, including the four fatalities between 2019 and 2021, along with various injuries such as traumatic brain injury and paralysis.

The reported deaths were caused by head trauma, with three of the fatalities occurring because the riders were not wearing helmets. Onewheel skateboards have a single, self-balancing fat-tire wheel powered by electricity. If the board’s limits are exceeded, it can stop balancing the rider, leading to a crash that could result in serious injury or death. Future Motion has acknowledged the issue and is introducing a new safety feature called the “haptic buzz” alert function. This function will provide riders with an audible and tactile warning when they are at risk of crashing. The company plans to roll out the safety update for certain models within one to six weeks, while stating that some earlier models are not eligible for the update.

In November 2022, the CPSC warned consumers to stop using all Onewheel models due to the risk of death and serious injury. Despite the warnings, Future Motion initially refused to agree to a recall. However, the CPSC continued its efforts, leading Future Motion to finally issue the recall. Last year, the e-skateboard maker rejected the CPSC’s claims and saw no reason for riders to stop using their boards. The recall is now seen as a necessary step to address the safety concerns and protect consumers.

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