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Lime Scooters hit with court orders after breaching Australian law over safety fault

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Australia’s consumer watchdog has hit electric scooter rental company Lime Network with a court undertaking after discovering it did not inform users of a safety issue.

Australia's consumer watchdog has hit electric scooter rental company Lime Network with a court undertaking after discovering it did not inform users of a safety issue.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) today accepted the undertaking which specifies Lime Scooters must only supply its third-generation scooters if it re-enters business following COVID-19.

The ACCC was concerned the company misrepresented its second-generation scooters as being safe to use when it knew the scooters were prone to applying excessive brake force to the front wheel in some situations.

In certain circumstances, the front wheel would lock altogether and cause serious injuries to consumers including broken bones, damaged teeth, cuts and abrasions.

"Misrepresenting the safety of a product can have very serious consequences," ACCC Commissioner Sarah Court said.

"Businesses must disclose known issues so that consumers can take extra precautions if they still choose to use the products."

Under Australian Consumer Law, businesses must report if a user has sustained an injury as a result of using their products.

The ACCC was concerned Lime did not make such a report on "at least" 50 occasions relating to injuries sustained while riding the second-generation scooters.

Lime suspended its e-scooter operations in Australia in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the public health measures imposed by governments.

If Lime recommences its operations in Australia, it has also undertaken to supply only Gen 3 or other later models of e-scooters for hire, to address any safety issues or defects affecting its e‑scooters and to implement a comprehensive compliance program.

In a statement provided to Lime acknowledged it did not meet reporting obligations and said it was committed to ensuring safe use of its scooters.

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"Prior to resolving the issue in March of 2019, in very rare cases, excessive brake force on the front wheel of some Gen 2 e-scooters could occur resulting in the e-scooter stopping unexpectedly," the statement reads.

"Upon becoming aware of the issue, we immediately launched a thorough investigation and made firmware upgrades to our Gen 2 e-scooters to resolve the issue.

"These firmware upgrades were successful, and we are confident that they have resolved the sudden stopping issue."

The company said it will "embrace the challenge" of demonstrating its commitment to safety and compliance with consumer law and will work with the ACCC.

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Source: 9News

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