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Lime Software Glitch Causes Scooter Wheels to Randomly Lock Up

Lime has admitted to a software glitch that causes their electric scooters’ front wheels to randomly lock up, catapulting riders off the scooters.

Lime Admits That Scooter Software Glitches Affect Multiple Countries

In January, Lime halted electric scooter service in Switzerland due to the scooters abruptly braking mid-ride.  Lime’s halting of their scooter services in Switzerland came after reports over several months of their riders being injured after the scooters suddenly stopped.  Lime reported that it suspected that a software update was causing the scooters to reboot mid-ride, which would trigger the scooter’s anti-theft braking system to engage.

On February 22nd, in Auckland, New Zealand, the government suspended Lime’s temporary license due to a software glitch which caused the front wheel to lock up unexpectedly.  Lime admitted that a software issue was causing the locking mechanism on the front wheel to engage while on a trip.  Lime said that the malfunction usually occurred when a rider was going downhill at a high speed and hit a pothole or other roadway obstacle. 

The Auckland Council said there had been 155 “irregular braking incidents” in New Zealand, resulting in 30 people being injured after they were catapulted off the scooters.

Auckland Council is appointing an independent reviewer, Exponent, who will have access to Lime’s operations and data.  Exponent, the outside organization, is a “root-cause specialist consultancy.”  It will analyze the firmware fix.  Exponent will have full access to Lime’s operations and data in order to review its safety management and processes.  Lime will be paying for the Exponent review.

The Auckland Council is also demanding weekly meetings with Lime representatives to discuss any incidents, and Lime’s responses to the incidents.  Council is demanding that Lime disclose the frequency of the brake-locking incidents.  Lime has agreed to report to the Council all incidents on a 48-hour frequency.

Auckland’s mayor, Phil Goff, said council officials only learned about the sudden braking problem through the media, after a pattern emerged of individuals reporting they had suffered the same issue.  Goff said Lime should have immediately alerted the council to the problem.

Auckland Council chief operating officer, Dean Kimpton, said that “safety is not negotiable” and that Lime needs to demonstrate that its scooters are safe before they are allowed back in the city.  The Council warned that if Lime fails to rectify the safety defect, Lime risks permanently losing access to Auckland.

Lime has admitted that its scooter software glitches were more widespread than just Switzerland and New Zealand.  Lime said that it is rolling out a software patch to fix the scooter software glitch globally.

Lime posted a “Safety Update” on February 23rd, stating that they had determined that “in very rare cases -- usually riding downhill at top speed while hitting a pothole or other obstacle - - excessive brake force on the front wheel can occur, resulting in a scooter stopping unexpectedly.”

Did Your Scooter’s Wheels Lock up?

Were you injured when your electric scooter’s wheels randomly locked up, throwing you off the scooter?  Our Santa Monica personal injury law firm has spoken to many scooter riders who were injured when their scooter suddenly shut down mid-ride, or the front wheel locked up unexpectedly. Our firm filed the first class action lawsuit

in the country against Bird and Lime and their manufacturers.  We believe that rentable electric scooters, as presently constituted, are unsafe because they are defectively designed and negligently maintained. 

We know that scooter accidents often result in life-changing injuries. Broken bones are the norm.  Surgery, with the installation of plates, rods and screws, is often required. If you’ve been injured, you should seek the advice of an experienced scooter accident attorney to find out your rights.  Contact us for a free consultation.

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