Abramson Smith Waldsmith LLP
Treating California’s Injured With Dignity And Respect

Consumers warned of defects in micromobility products

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2023 | Defective Products

Consumers aim for convenient and cost-effective products. In recent years, micromobility products have been addressing this need by redefining the American commute through a consumer-friendly mode of transportation.

Micromobility products are small, lightweight and electronic vehicles for short-distance travel. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a host of device options are available in the market, including hoverboards, electric scooters or bicycles.

While these products have environmental and public transit benefits, CPSC warns manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors of rising injuries and deaths due to defects. Emergency department visits due to micromobility accidents spiked from 34,000 in 2017 to 77,200 in 2021 nationwide, and with a total estimate of 267,700 injuries and 129 fatalities in the given time frame.

What are the common causes of these deadly incidents and how can consumers prove liability?

Micromobility dangers

Of the 207 in-depth investigations CPSC completed, they found that micromobility incidents were usually due to the following threats:

  • Malfunctioning brakes: The brake cable is improperly attached to the adjustment bracket.
  • Fire-related hazards: Overheating chargers and catching fire after battery reset or removal.
  • Other product-related problems: Failure to power up or shut down, stuck throttles, broken footboards, and separation of pedal and crank assemblies to the bike frame.

CPSC highlights that all concerned parties must comply with safety standards to avoid tragic risks. Further, CPSC warns of possible penalties for noncompliant parties. In the same way, they also advise consumers to take extra care when using these new devices. Some recommended tips include properly following instructions on set up and usage, only using chargers that came with the device and only charging when you are present.

Proving liability

If you are thinking of filing a product liability claim in California, you must prove the following four elements:

  • The accused designed, manufactured and sold the defective product.
  • The product was defective when it left the possession of the accused.
  • You used the defective product in a reasonably foreseeable manner, which means the designer and manufacturer should have anticipated how you would use or misuse the product. Such knowledge means they must take precautionary measures to keep you from harm.
  • You suffered an injury, or even death, due to the defective product.

Thus, a product liability claim does not have to establish the negligent actions of any person in the supply chain. The only thing that needs to be clear is how the product in question is defective. The circumstances of your case may also reduce your compensation. But even so, the state’s comparative fault system means you can still recover damages even if you are partially at fault for the accident.

Maximize your financial recovery

If you suffered losses due to defective products, you must not waste time. You only have two years from the accident to file a lawsuit. It will help to have a legal team committed to fighting for your rights. They can share the work with you to have the most favorable financial recovery possible for your case.