Future Motion Initiates Recall for Onewheel Electric Skateboards After Safety Concerns
Future Motion, the manufacturer of Onewheel electric skateboards, has announced a comprehensive recall of all Onewheel self-balancing vehicles, encompassing 300,000 units in the United States. This decision comes in collaboration with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) following four reported fatalities, with three of them involving riders not wearing helmets, occurring between 2019 and 2021.
This recall comes a year after Future Motion initially disputed the CPSC's call for a recall, asserting that their testing found no issues with Onewheels. At the time, the company issued a press release in objection to the CPSC's stance, describing the agency's statements as "unjustified and alarmist."
Now, Future Motion is moving ahead with a voluntary recall that it had previously declined almost a year ago. The company is urging owners to discontinue the use of their Onewheels until they take appropriate action. For the newer Onewheel models, including Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, and Onewheel Plus XR, a software update featuring a new warning system is proposed as the solution. However, for early adopters, both the CPSC and Future Motion are advising owners to stop using and dispose of the original Onewheel and Onewheel Plus, without specifying the number of affected units.
In response to inquiries about the original units, Onewheel chief evangelist Jack Mudd declined to provide details or explain the company's previous assertion that there were no issues and their resistance to a recall in 2022. Mudd did mention that the software update for other models is being rolled out worldwide, not limited to the US.
Some accidents involving Onewheel skateboards were attributed to malfunctions occurring when the devices were pushed to certain limits. The firmware update for the mentioned models will introduce a "Haptic Buzz" feedback system, which provides riders with tactile and auditory warnings when the vehicle encounters an error state, has low battery levels, or approaches its operational limits, necessitating a slowdown.
To install the update, owners need to connect their Onewheels to the accompanying app and perform a firmware update, with detailed instructions provided in a new instructional video.
For early adopters, the company is offering a "pro-rated credit of $100 toward the purchase of a new board," according to Mudd. This credit will only be issued after owners confirm that they have disposed of the old model.
In conjunction with the decision to recall Onewheel, Future Motion has shared a new YouTube video highlighting the new Haptic Buzz feature and emphasizing best practices for safe riding. Jack Mudd stated in the video that the company has been working closely with the CPSC for over a year to develop this new safety feature and emphasized that disregarding pushback or Haptic Buzz warnings "can result in serious injury or death." The development of the Haptic Buzz feature may explain why it was not ready in a timely manner after the CPSC's initial concerns last year.