Credit: London Fire Brigade/Twitter

US product safety authority calls on e-bike manufacturers to comply with battery safety standards 

The US product safety authority has written to thousands of e-bike and e-scooter manufacturers, urging them to adhere to battery safety standards.

Following a number of reports of fires caused by micromobility products in the US, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has written to more than 2,000 manufacturers and importers of micromobility products, urging them to review their product lines. 

The CPSC received reports of at least 208 micromobility fire or overheating incidents from 1st January to 28th November 2022, in 39 states, resulting in at least 19 fatalities.

Of these incidents, five were associated with e-scooters, 11 with hoverboards, and three with e-bikes. 

CPSC also received reports of at least 22 injuries treated in hospital emergency departments, with 12 involving e-scooters and 10 involving e-bikes over that same period of time.

The letter, signed by CPSC director Robert S Kaye, said: “As you may be aware, in recent years there has been a rise in fires and other thermal events involving micromobility products—including e-scooters, self-balancing scooters (often referred to as hoverboards), e-bicycles, and e-unicycles.

“I am writing to urge you to ensure that the micromobility devices for consumer use that you manufacture, import, distribute, or sell in the United States have been designed, manufactured, and certified for compliance with the applicable consensus safety standards. 

“I urge you to review your product line immediately and ensure that all micromobility devices that you manufacture, import, distribute, or sell in the United States comply with the relevant UL standards. 3 Failure to do so puts U.S. consumers at risk of serious harm and may result in enforcement action.” 

The letter said that failure to comply with UL safety standards (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, and standards they incorporate by reference) may pose an unreasonable risk to consumers of fire and serious injury or death; and that compliance with the relevant UL standards “significantly reduces the risk of injuries and deaths from micromobility device fires.” 

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The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risk of injury or death associated with the use of thousands of types of consumer products. Deaths, injuries, and property damage from consumer product-related incidents cost the nation more than $1 trillion annually.   

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