Lithium powers everything from the smartphone revolution to your city’s new e-mobility vehicles. But lithium batteries are subject to the occasional fire and Lime, the e-scooter startup, said Tuesday that one model of its scooters appeared to light up from time to time.
The model in question is made by Segway Ninebot—Lime uses several different models in its fast-growing fleet—and Lime says that only 0.01% of its overall fleet is affected by the problem. Lime and Segway Ninebot wrote software patches to prevent riders from using 2,000 at-risk scooters until the company could pick them up and repair them. Most of the scooters were in Los Angeles, San Diego, or Lake Tahoe, Calif.
The fire department responded to an e-scooter fire at Lime’s facilities in Lake Tahoe this August, the Washington Post reports, and a Lime mechanic told the Post that mechanics were concerned about the device’s safety.
Lime also preventing its charging contractors, known as “Juicers”, from recharging that model until further notice. Juicers earn fees for collecting scooters in the evening, charging them, and returning them in the morning to points designated by Lime.
E-scooter rental companies are also facing a new class action lawsuit in a Los Angeles court over injuries to users (which include fatalities), pedestrians and public nuisance claims.