In a sweeping move, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the US has ordered the recall of all 300,000 Onewheel electric skateboards sold globally, following the devastating deaths of four individuals while riding these popular devices. The recall, which applies universally and not just in the US, was prompted by concerns over potential crashes leading to severe injuries.
Onewheel manufacturer, Future Motion, has emphasized that this recall encompasses all Onewheel models, including the original Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+ XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X, and Onewheel GT. The CPSC revealed that the fatalities reported between 2019 and 2021 were primarily due to head trauma, with several incidents indicating the absence of helmets. To address these safety concerns, Future Motion is offering various options to affected customers.
Affected users, regardless of their location, can choose from a range of remedies. These options include a software update for specific models aimed at enhancing safety. Alternatively, customers can opt for a store credit of $100 (£82), applicable towards the purchase of a new skateboard. Future Motion has provided a user-friendly online platform for recall requests, streamlining the process for affected riders.
Both Future Motion and the CPSC have reiterated the importance of protective gear, such as helmets and knee pads, during skateboard use. Despite the recall, Future Motion maintains its stance that when used responsibly, Onewheels are safe. However, the company faces legal challenges, including 31 lawsuits in the US, where claimants allege unexpected shutdowns causing falls. Notably, none of these cases have been litigated in court thus far.
In response to safety concerns, Future Motion has introduced an innovative safety alert feature named ‘haptic buzz’. This technology aims to alert riders to potential crash situations, providing both audible and tactile signals. While this feature can be incorporated through firmware updates on specific models, owners of the original Onewheel and Onewheel+ models are offered a $100 credit towards newer, safer devices.
The recall has sent ripples across the globe, with UK authorities closely monitoring the situation. The UK government has vowed swift action if necessary, emphasizing the importance of consumer safety. Some UK retailers, like The Snowboard Shop, have voluntarily halted Onewheel sales, prioritizing customer safety and adherence to the recall.
As Onewheel owners navigate these developments, the recall serves as a stark reminder of the importance of stringent safety measures in the burgeoning electric skateboard industry. Future Motion continues to advocate for responsible usage, urging riders to prioritize their safety by wearing appropriate protective gear.
This global recall not only reshapes the landscape of electric skateboard safety but underscores the critical need for manufacturers and consumers alike to prioritize safety in the pursuit of recreational adventures.