Overview of the Onewheel Electric Skateboards Recall
The manufacturer of Onewheel electric skateboards, Future Motion, has initiated a recall of all models due to serious safety concerns. This significant action includes all 300,000 units sold in the United States. The recall, conducted in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), comes after four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021, with multiple serious injuries also being attributed to the product.
Reason behind the Recall
The recall action was triggered after Future Motion received complaints indicating that the boards stopped balancing riders correctly. This incorrect balancing has resulted in severe injuries such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, and damage to ligaments. The reported deaths were due to head trauma, with at least three instances where the rider was not wearing a helmet. All Onewheel owners have been advised to cease using their boards immediately, pending suitable remedial actions.
Future Motion has recognized these problems and is implementing a safety alert feature, “the Haptic Buzz”, through a firmware update. This update sends a tactile and audible warning to the rider when the board is nearing its limits, or when in a low battery or error state. However, the original Onewheel and Onewheel+ boards will not receive this feature but owners will receive a $100 store credit upon disposal of their board.
Future Motion has sold these models online and at independent retailers from January 2014 through September 2021. In light of the recall, the company urges all riders to wear protective gear, including helmets, to ensure safety.
Examination of Legal Aspects of the Recall
Product recalls are legally mandated when a product is found to be dangerous or potentially harmful to consumers. Failure to initiate a recall under such circumstances can lead to severe legal consequences and even criminal charges for the manufacturer. Therefore, Future Motion’s voluntary recall is a step toward complying with these laws and avoiding potential legal issues.
Manufacturers who fail to adequately respond to safety concerns can face punitive damages, regulatory fines, and criminal charges. In some cases, they may also be responsible for costs related to the recall, like refunds, repairs, and replacements. Future Motion could thus face financial consequences for this recall, particularly if lawsuits arise.
Indeed, given the grave injuries and fatalities related to its product, the company may face potential lawsuits. Especially if it can be proven that Future Motion was aware of the defect and failed to respond appropriately and promptly, they could be held liable for damages.
Company’s Response to the Recall
In response to the significant recall, Future Motion has promptly acknowledged the serious safety concerns. Recognizing that the correct functioning of the Onewheel electric skateboards directly impacts the safety of users, the company has taken full responsibility for the technical problems faced. Through public communications, Future Motion has emphasized its priority is the well-being of users, reaffirming commitment to address the reported alarming issues and to prevent similar issues in the future.
Actions Taken by Future Motion to Address the Situation
Future Motion is undertaking a comprehensive action plan to rectify the issues. Apart from cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in the recall, the company is implementing product improvements to prevent future incidents.
Firstly, the company has developed a safety alert feature, “the Haptic Buzz”. This feature, made available through a firmware update, sends a tactile and audible warning to the rider when the board reaches its limits or when it is in a low battery or error state, thereby potentially averting the risk of imbalances and subsequent falls.
Unfortunately, the original Onewheel and Onewheel+ models will not receive this feature due to their older technology. However, Future Motion is offering a $100 store credit to owners of these models upon their board’s disposal, motivating users to make the transition towards safer, updated models.
To further instill responsible riding practices, Future Motion is encouraging all riders to use appropriate protective gear, including helmets, to minimize the risk of severe harm.
Future Motion’s Responsibility Towards Affected Customers
As the manufacturer of the Onewheel electric skateboards, Future Motion is legally and ethically obliged to take immediate and effective action for their customer’s safety. The company needs to ensure that all affected customers are aware of the recall and the risk associated with continued use of the product.
Moreover, Future Motion must be ready to bear the costs that may arise out of this recall – including refunds, repairs, or replacements. This ensures that customers are not left out of pocket due to a problem that was not of their making.
It is also of utmost importance that Future Motion conducts a thorough internal review to investigate how these safety issues originated and to implement preventive measures to avoid a recurrence. This will reassure customers of their commitment to safety and product reliability.
Future Motion has a considerable task in tackling the recall of Onewheel electric skateboards. It must manage the logistical and financial aspect of the recall, address the product’s technical issues, instill safety measures, and regain customer trust to restore the company’s reputation.
Rights and Entitlements of Affected Consumers
Legal Rights of Consumers in a Product Recall
With a product recall in effect, consumers have several legal rights. Basic entitlements include a right to a full refund, replacement, or fix of the affected product. Furthermore, individuals who sustained injuries due to the product’s defect may hold the company legally accountable and seek compensation for medical expenses and other related costs.
Compensation or Refund Options Available to the Affected Consumers
As part of Future Motion’s commitment to resolving the issue, owners of the original Onewheel and Onewheel+ are entitled to receive a $100 store credit upon disposing of their boards. Consumers owning other models are encouraged to contact the company as per instructions provided on the product recall notice to discuss available remedies. This might include options for repair or refund.
Steps to Take for the Affected Consumers
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. Click here for more information on the firmware update timeline.
Consumers with the Original Onewheel or Onewheel+ model should visit https://recall.onewheel.com to arrange for a pro-rated refund in the form of a store credit upon confirmation of disposal of the product.
In the backdrop of this recall, Future Motion has come forward, recognizing its legal obligations and initiating a recall of their Onewheel electric skateboards. This move signifies their understanding of the significance of prioritizing safety and their commitment to rectify potential harm to their consumers. However, it is important to note that remedying the situation does not absolve them from responsibility. Affected customers hold valuable rights – they are entitled to remedies including repairs, replacements, or refunds, and they have the entitlement to seek legal reimbursement for damages inflicted due to the defective product.
This Onewheel electric skateboard recall underscores a fundamental principle for all manufacturers – innovation must never sideline safety. While Future Motion’s quick response and their actions to enhance safety measures are commendable, they also emphasize the paramountcy of product safety in industries, particularly those involved in the production of innovative personal mobility devices. Recalls, though damaging to a company’s reputation and financial status in the short term, handled responsibly can shield the company from more damaging long-term effects.
At Cronauer Law, we are deeply committed to holding manufacturers like Future Motion accountable and ensuring they prioritize safety over profits. We stand ready to guide and represent anyone affected by unsafe products such as the Onewheel electric skateboards subject to this recall. We urge victims to reach out to us – our experienced team is fully equipped to pursue the reparations that you are rightly entitled to. Remember, your safety should never be compromised. We are here to fight for your rights and the justice you deserve, every step of the way.