In Switzerland, there has been a number of incidents involving Lime electric scooter’s displays shutting off and slamming on the front brakes at full-speed. The US-American company has taken their 500 electric scooters off Swiss streets for repair.
Thankfully, no one has yet been grievously injured. Coincidentally, one of the first complaints came from a doctor who was riding of the electric kick-scooter. He joked that it was lucky for him that his accident happened right near the emergency intake of a hospital. The doctor was riding the scooter at top speed (25 kph) when the display shut of and the scooters front brakes slammed on. He went flying over the handlebars and earned a nasty elbow break that will reduce his working capacity work for several months.
After several such incidents, journalist colleagues at Watson in Zurich investigated the cases last December and now Lime has taken customer complaints seriously and withdrawn their 500 electric scooters in Switzerland to repair the software failures.
Currently, the Lime app indicates that there are no e-scooters available for rent in Zurich or Basel. In total, the US tech giant operates a fleet of 300 e-scooters in Zurich and 250 in Basel.
Lime can also be grateful that not only did one of the accidents that required hospital treatment happen right in front of a hospital, but another victim was an IT specialist who recognised the accident was the result of a product defect. But despite his multi-page letter of complaint, the IT specialist received no answer from the US-American company. In the above-mentioned report, he was quoted, “Lime has a serious problem. In the USA, such a bug could cost the company millions and endanger the business model.
The man is now taking legal action, but says that “The accident is solely the result of a product defect.” and that he would otherwise like to continue driving through Zurich on Lime scooters. The Colorado-based company was only founded in 2017 and already has sharing locations in hundreds of cities worldwide in Australia and New Zealand, South America, Europe and North America.
Lime has now apologised for the long processing time of the complaints received. Company spokesperson Roman Balzan said, “We are in contact with those affected. We apologized to them for the long waiting time. It is clear that such a thing should not happen. We are investigating the causes of the delay and how we can improve internal processes.”