The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), an independent federal regulatory agency that protects consumers, issued a press release on December 19th urging manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of micromobility devices to follow safety standards to avoid unnecessary injuries and deaths.
Over recent years there has been a rising number of fire and other thermal related incidents involving products such as e-scooters, self-balancing scooters (hoverboards), e-bikes, and e-unicycles.
From January 1, 2021, to November 28, 2022, CPSC had gathered 208 reports from 39 states about micromobility fire or overheating incidents. Shockingly, 19 of these reports list a fatality. 5 deaths can be linked to e-scooters, 11 for hoverboards, and 3 for e-bikes. They also report 22 injuries where a hospital visit was required, 12 for e-scooters, and 10 for e-bikes.
To sell, distribute, import, or manufacture in the US, products must have been designed, manufactured, and certified for compliance adhering to the applicable consensus safety standards.
These safety standards include ANSI/CAN/UL 2272 – Standard for Electrical
Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices dated February 26, 2019, and ANSI/CAN/UL 2849
– Standard for Safety for Electrical Systems for eBikes dated June 17, 2022.
UL standards, which can be viewed for free and purchased from the UL Standards Sales Site, were designed to reduce the serious risk of dangerous fires in such products and require certification from an accredited testing laboratory.
When these compliances and standards are followed the risk of injuries and deaths from micro mobility fires is greatly reduced. Products that don’t meet the level of safety provided by UL standards put the consumers at risk.
Section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b) states that every manufacturer, importer, distributor, and retailer that has been made aware of a defect on a product in-house or out on the market must report so. Failing to do so can results in civil and criminal penalties.
If any standards are not met, the CPSC’s Office of Compliance and Field Operations are given permission to seek the appropriate corrective action.
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