Future Motion, the producer of Onewheel electric skateboards, has initiated a massive recall of all its e-skateboard models.
This action comes after four confirmed deaths that were directly associated with the company’s products, according to a Sept. 29 recall from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Apparently, the skateboards stop balancing their riders if certain “limits are exceeded,” the CPSC said.
“Future Motion has been notified of numerous incidents related to their electric skateboards,” the agency wrote. “These incidents range from four deaths between 2019 and 2021 to other severe injuries such as traumatic brain damage, concussions, paralysis, fractures of both upper and lower body parts, and significant ligament injuries.”
For those unfamiliar, Onewheel electric skateboards are characterized by a single, oversized wheel with an electric battery to propel and balance the rider. Deaths on these slim EVs were mostly attributed to head injuries, as riders were not wearing helmets in three of the four incidents, according to the CPSC. One of those incidents resulted in a wrongful death lawsuit against Future Motion.
For owners of a Onewheel skateboard: Both the company and the CPSC have said to stop using them immediately. The recall initiated last week affects 300,000 boards and actually comes almost a year after the CPSC told Onewheel owners to stop using the devices.
A new safety feature from Future Motion can supposedly fix the problem.
Future Motion Delayed Action After Deaths
Notably, the four deaths connected to the latest recall aren’t new. They happened between 2019 and 2021, leading the CPSC to advise consumers against using the Onewheel in November 2022.
“CPSC evaluated the Onewheel products and found that they can cause the rider to be ejected from the product, which can result in serious injury or death,” the federal agency said. “Future Motion has refused to agree to an acceptable recall of the product … CPSC urges consumers not to buy the Onewheel.”
Future Motion initially refused to do anything and even issued a press release about the “unjustified and alarmist statements” from the federal watchdog.
Onewheel Recall: What Owners Should Do
Now, Future Motion has announced a new feature to address the safety issues with the boards. A “haptic buzz” can audibly and physically alert riders when they approach a situation where a crash is likely. Future Motion plans to introduce this safety upgrade thorugh a firmwear update for its Onewheel GT model over the next week.
Other models, including Pint X, Pint, and XR, are also slated to receive the update over the next month and a half. The firmwear and instructions on how to load it are available at Onewheel’s website.
However, the original Onewheel and Onewheel+ models will not be compatible with the firmwear update and do not appear to have a resolution. In its own announcement of the recall, Future Motion said owners of those models could receive a $100 credit toward the purchase of a new Onewheel. (The price tag of a Onewheel GT starts at $2,200.)
Future Motion also issued a recall for over 20,000 Onewheel GTs in 2022 over a problem with the foot pad.