Bike industry takes ‘strong stance’ against e-bike tampering

The bike industry is taking a ‘strong stance’ against the tampering of e-bikes, with 15 national bicycle industry associations and 68 companies becoming signatories to an industry-wide self-commitment under the aegis of CONEBI.

“With the e-bike becoming a familiar sight on roads all over Europe, tampering of those bicycles is also offered,” said a CONEBI statement. “The bicycle industry represented by CONEBI, however, takes a strong stance against this practice as riding manipulated e-bikes on public roads may not only lead to safety issues and technical problems but also result in serious legal consequences. Riding a tampered e-bike on public roads can lead to criminal prosecution.

“Riding a tampered e-bike also risks invalidating third party or personal injury insurance. Furthermore, cyclists risk losing their guarantee and invalidating their warranty claims.”

To further support this position, CONEBI has prepared a self-commitment for the prevention of tampering of e-bikes. All the signatories, ranging from national industry associations to global companies active in the industry, committed to ensuring that all applicable anti-tampering requirements are met, to continuously evaluate and improve existing standards as well as to raise awareness about this illegal practice to related stakeholders such as retailers via trainings, documentations, workshops and campaigns.

While the large majority of e-bike riders do not tamper with their bicycle, CONEBI said it is concerned about the negative effect that the illegal action of a few will have on the innocent many who conduct themselves according to the law. CONEBI strongly believes that the current regulatory framework for e-bikes is well suited and the equal treatment of e-bikes and bicycles is fundamental for the rise in e-bike use in recent years. It does however see the tampering as a threat to this stable framework.

President of CONEBI Erhard Büchel said: “The bicycle industry takes the topic of tampering very seriously and has started several actions to curb this dangerous practice. This self-commitment is only one pillar of our overall strategy. Moreover, market surveillance must be strengthened at national level supported by European legislations. Last but not least, we condemn very strongly the sales of tampering kits which endanger the safety of consumers as the e-bike is not designed for such an increased speed. We therefore call upon the European legislators to clearly forbid the sale, application and use of tampering equipment.”

CONEBI is working together with its members, technical experts and other associations to prepare supplementary information that will help to follow the steps of the self-commitment including but not limited to information material on the risks and dangers of tampering, advice on how to cooperate with national market surveillance authorities as well as building partnerships with like-minded associations, consumer organisations, retailers, police, accident research and testing institutes. The complete self-commitment showcasing all the signatories can be found here.

Rebecca Morley

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