Posted by E-bike Lovers on January 5, 2024 - Latest revision January 30, 2024  Reading time: minutes remaining

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Warns Against Unsafe E-bikes

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a stern warning to manufacturers and importers of battery-powered personal mobility devices, including e-scooters, hoverboards, e-bicycles, and e-unicycles.

In a comprehensive communication, the CPSC emphasized the importance of adhering to voluntary safety standards to mitigate the risk of injury or death.

Highlighting the urgency of this issue, the letter, sent to over 2,000 stakeholders, underscored the potential dangers these products could pose if they fail to meet the UL safety standards, specifically ANSI/CAN/UL 2272 and ANSI/CAN/UL 2849. These standards are critical in preventing risks associated with fire and serious injuries.

December 19, 2022

Dear Manufacturers, Importers, Distributors, and Retailers of Micromobility Devices for Consumer Use: The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is an independent federal regulatory agency responsible for protecting consumers from unreasonable risks of injury and death from consumer products.

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. 

From January 1, 2021, through November 28, 2022, CPSC received reports from 39 states of at least 208 micromobility fire or overheating incidents. These incidents resulted in at least 19 fatalities, including 5 deaths associated with e-scooters, 11 with hoverboards, and 3 with e-bikes. CPSC also received reports of at least 22 injuries that resulted in emergency department visits, with 12 of the injuries involving e-scooters and 10 of them involving e-bikes.

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. 

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, and standards they incorporate by reference.

The 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 these products. Compliance with the standards should be demonstrated by certification from an accredited testing laboratory.

Manufacturing these products in compliance with the applicable UL standards significantly reduces the risk of injuries and deaths from micromobility device fires. Consumers face an unreasonable risk of fire and risk serious injury or death if their micromobility devices do not meet the level of safety provided by the relevant UL standards. 

Accordingly, products that do not meet these standards could present a substantial product hazard under Section 15(a) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(a); and, should CPSC’s Office of Compliance and Field Operations encounter such products, we will seek corrective action as appropriate.

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.

Failure to do so puts U.S. consumers at risk of serious harm and may result in enforcement action.

Please also note that Section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b), requires every manufacturer, importer, distributor, and retailer of consumer products to report immediately to the Commission when the firm obtains information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product distributed in commerce contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or that the product creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. 

The statute also provides for imposition of civil and criminal penalties for failing to report the required information. If you have any questions, or if we can be of any assistance, you may contact micromobility@cpsc.gov.

Sincerely,

Robert S. Kaye
Director, Office of Compliance and Field Operations

This letter supersedes the letter from Robert S. Kaye dated February 22, 2018, to Manufacturers, Importers, and Retailers of Self-Balancing Scooters.

Source: https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Important%20Safety%20Information%20Concerning%20Micromobility%20Devices.pdf

This action comes in the wake of a significant number of fire incidents and thermal hazards linked to these micromobility products. The CPSC's data from January 2021 to November 2022 records at least 208 fire or overheating events across 39 states, tragically resulting in 19 fatalities and 22 hospital-treated injuries.

The fatalities include incidents involving e-scooters, hoverboards, and e-bikes.

This alarming data has propelled the CPSC to urge manufacturers to ensure that their products, when introduced into the U.S. market, are not only designed and manufactured in compliance with these standards but also certified by an accredited testing laboratory.

The CPSC's communication serves as a crucial reminder for manufacturers to prioritize consumer safety by adhering to established safety protocols. Their failure to comply with these standards could lead to enforcement actions from the CPSC.

For further information or statements from individual Commissioners on this matter, the CPSC directs interested parties to their website at www.cpsc.gov/commissioners, where they can find more details on this and other related topics.

The release, numbered 23-074, marks a significant step in the CPSC's efforts to ensure the safety of battery-powered personal mobility devices.

As E-bike Lovers, we are dedicated to monitoring announcements from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

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