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E-Bike Battery Explosions Lead to Multiple Recalls

About 22,000 e-bikes sold by retailers including Amazon, Sears, and Walmart have been recalled due to fire, explosion, and burn hazards. Manufacturer Ancheer, which issued the recall voluntarily, has received six reports of fire, explosions, or sparks, four of which detailed burn injuries.

According to a notice posted by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, owners and consumers of recalled e-bikes should cease usage until being equipped with a free replacement battery and battery mount.

If you’re the owner of an e-bike or other micromobility product such as an e-scooter or hoverboard, you may be wondering about the potential safety concerns. Keep reading to learn more about the causes behind these explosions and the legal options available to you in the event of a related injury.

What causes e-bike explosions?

The e-bike recall follows a report detailing a surge in emergency room visits and deaths related to the use of e-bikes, e-scooters, and hoverboards. According to the report, injuries related to micromobility devices spiked an alarming 127% between 2017 and 2021, and the number of deaths rose from five to 48 (with reporting still ongoing).

These micromobility devices all have one thing in common: they’re all powered by lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries, the culprit of the e-bike battery explosions, have been garnering attention from fire departments nationwide. When these batteries overheat, they can ignite, causing sparks and fires—and, consequentially, serious burns and injuries to riders.

Some common factors that may lead to lithium battery explosions include:

  • Flaws in manufacturing or design

  • Damage to the battery

  • Exposure to extreme heat

  • Charging the battery with the incorrect charger

Tips for preventing e-bike explosions

The top safety hazards battery-powered mobility products are related to motor vehicle incidents are user control issues, followed by fire and explosions.

If you’re the owner of a device powered by lithium-ion batteries, follow these safety tips:

  • Never leave your e-bike unattended while charging—never charge lithium batteries while you’re sleeping

  • Use the charger and power adapter specifically designed for your device

  • Only use approved, unmodified battery replacement packs

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper charging

  • Unplug the device when it’s done charging

  • Keep the battery away from flammable materials while in use, such as clothing or upholstery

Additionally, make sure to never throw your lithium-ion batteries in the trash or general recycling. Instead, bring them to a local battery recycling facility or hazardous waste collection center.

What to do in the event of an e-bike explosion

While taking all of the necessary steps can reduce your risk of lithium battery explosions and related injuries, it is still possible to encounter an e-bike or battery that underwent a flawed manufacturing process or does not meet regulatory requirements.

If you are involved in an e-bike explosion, follow these safety and legal tips:

Safety tips

  • Evacuate the area immediately.

  • Call 911 as soon as you are able.

  • Don’t try to put out the fire yourself—lithium battery fires are incredibly dangerous and difficult to extinguish.

Legal tips

  • If possible, take a picture of the accident site.

  • Talk to any police officers on site to ensure your account of the incident is recorded.

  • Reach out to an accident and personal injury attorney.

COPYRIGHT © 2023, STARK & STARKNational Law Review, Volume XII, Number 300
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About this Author

Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr, Stark Law, Personal Injury Lawyer, Civil Litigation Attorney
Shareholder

Domenic B. Sanginiti, Jr. is a Shareholder and member of the Accident & Personal Injury Group. Mr. Sanginiti concentrates on catastrophic personal injury matters, negligent security claims, wrongful death and product liability matters. Mr. Sanginiti also focuses his practice on the hazards and defects of lithium ion batteries, e-cigarettes, and other vaping products. Mr. Sanginiti is currently leading the Juul litigation at Stark & Stark and...

609-895-7399
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