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After first refusing, OneWheel recalls all of its self-balancing electric skateboards

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, electric skateboard-maker Future Motion has agreed to recall all of its OneWheels, a self-balancing electric mobility device.

Classified as a form of electric skateboard, the OneWheel is unlike nearly all other e-skateboards due to its self-balancing nature. As the name implies, it has just a single wheel in the center of the board. The large wheels functions similarly to other self-balancing vehicles like the original Segway, in that it accelerates and decelerates automatically based on the rider’s forward and backward lean angle.

The issue is that several riders have reported that the OneWheel can cut out when its speed limit is reached, or otherwise has exhibited problems that resulted in riders being tossed from the board. As the CPSC explained, “The skateboards can stop balancing the rider if the boards’ limits are exceeded, posing a crash hazard that can result in serious injury or death.”

This ‘nosedive’ accident, which can occur when the motor can’t provide sufficient power or speed to balance the rider’s forward lean, can prove extremely dangerous. In fact, the CPSC claims in the recall announcement that there have been four deaths of OneWheel riders in the last few years from head trauma, and that “at least three” of those were of riders not wearing helmets.

Last year Future Motion initially rejected the CPSC’s demand for a recall, but now appears to have reversed course.

The company indicates that all models of OneWheels sold between 2014 and 2023 are subject to the recall.

According to the announcement:

“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled Onewheel electric skateboards. Consumers with the Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, or Onewheel+ XR electric skateboards should download or update the Onewheel app, and use the app to update the firmware on their board to include Haptic Buzz alert functionality. Haptic Buzz is a tactile and audible warning system that provides the rider with a buzzing sensation and sound when nearing the limits of the board or when in low battery or error states. The firmware update for the Onewheel GT will be available within one week, with the firmware update for the Pint X, Pint, and XR launching within six weeks”

Owners of OneWheels can learn more at https://recall.onewheel.com.

It’s been a busy summer for recalls in the micromobility space, with several other bicycle-related recalls over the last few months.

While the vast majority of micromobility vehicles have never seen a recall, the large increase in usage and sales of light electric vehicles makes the increased number of recalls foreseeable.

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