The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) yesterday called on manufacturers of e-scooters, self-balancing scooters (often referred to as hoverboards), e-bicycles and e-unicycles to review product lines and ensure compliance with established voluntary safety standards or face possible enforcement action.
In a letter to more than 2,000 manufacturers and importers, CPSC states that failure to adhere to applicable 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."
The letter points to the rise in fires and other hazardous thermal events involving micromobility products in urging manufactures to ensure that these consumer devices – when manufactured, imported, distributed or sold in the United States – are designed, manufactured and certified for compliance in accordance with UL safety standards.
From January 1, 2022 through November 28, 2022, CPSC received reports of at least 208 micromobility fire or overheating incidents from 39 states, resulting in at least 19 fatalities, including five 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 UL safety standards were developed to reduce the serious risk of dangerous fires with battery-powered micromobility products. The letter further calls on manufacturers to demonstrate compliance with the standards through certification from an accredited testing laboratory.