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Lime pulls electric scooters after learning of defect that can cause batteries to catch fire

A Lime scooter in Seattle. (GeekWire Photos / Kurt Schlosser)

Over the summer, Lime quietly removed scooters from circulation in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Lake Tahoe after learning a small percentage had batteries that could smolder or catch fire.

Lime said the culprit is Segway Ninebot, one of its scooter manufacturers, in a blog post Tuesday. Although Lime says it addressed the battery issue before any customers were affected, the company recently learned that another model from Segway Ninebot may also be defective. Lime is investigating that claim.

Working with Segway Ninebot, Lime created software to find the defective batteries and then remotely disabled scooters with the defect so they couldn’t be ridden. The affected scooters were removed from streets. Lime declined to comment on how many scooters were removed from circulation, but The Washington Post reports the number is in the thousands.

Lime is also investigating claims that the baseboards on scooters from another manufacturer, Okai, can break “when subjected to repeated abuse.”

Lime says that scooters made by manufacturers other than Segway comprise the majority of its fleet. As for the Segway scooters still in circulation, Lime plans to charge all of them at its warehouses instead of allowing third-party “Juicers” to charge the scooters and return them to the streets. The company is also implementing new testing procedures to identify defects.

“Lime takes full responsibility for our scooters,” the company said in the blog post. “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.”



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