Onewheel Electric Skateboards Recalled After Multiple Deaths and Injuries Reported

NEW YORK (AP) — The California-based company Future Motion is facing a major setback as it recalls all models of its Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboards following reports of four deaths and multiple injuries over the past few years. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has raised concerns over the 300,000 now-recalled skateboards, noting that they can stop balancing a rider if the boards’ limits are exceeded, leading to serious crashes.

The incidents reported to the CPSC include four deaths between 2019 and 2021, as well as serious injuries such as paralysis, traumatic brain injury, fractures, and ligament damage. The deaths resulted from head trauma, and in at least three of the reports, the riders were not wearing helmets.

The recall impacts all Onewheel electric skateboards sold online and through independent retailers from January 2014 through September 2023. To address the crash hazard, a new safety alert feature called “haptic buzz” will be available through a firmware update for some Onewheel models in the coming weeks, while eligible riders can arrange to receive a prorated refund in the form of $100 in store credit.

The Onewheel team emphasized the importance of rider safety and urged all riders to wear helmets and other protective gear, stating that rider safety is their top priority and is critical to the long-term success of the sport. The CPSC had previously warned consumers to stop using Onewheel electric skateboards back in November, citing similar reports of death and serious injuries and pointing out that Future Motion had initially refused to agree to a recall.

The recall update comes after months of work with the CPSC, according to Future Motion’s Onewheel team. As the company deals with the repercussions of the recall, it is crucial for Onewheel owners to stop using the affected skateboards immediately and take the necessary steps outlined by the CPSC and Future Motion.