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A software error sent Lime scooter riders flying after a glitch caused the scooters’ front wheels to lock up randomly mid-ride. The sudden braking caused at least 30 injuries in 155 known incidents, Lime told Auckland, New Zealand officials. Injuries ranged from bumps and scrapes to at least three more serious cases like a broken jaw or dislocated shoulder. On Friday, the city decided to suspend the San Francisco-based scooter company until it can prove its scooters are safe again.
“We recently became aware of a software issue that may cause the locking mechanism on the front wheel to engage while on a trip,” Lime said in a statement to Forbes. “Less than a fraction of a percent of all Lime trips in New Zealand have been impacted by this issue, specifically 0.0086%. While a small fraction of the more than 1.8 millions scooter rides to date, even one incident reported is too many.”
It’s not the first time Lime has had to remove its scooters because of safety concerns around braking. In January, TechCrunch reported that Lime had removed its scooters from Switzerland after a similar string of random braking causing injuries to riders. In the company’s note to riders at the time, Lime said it was investigating whether a software update was causing the scooters to reboot mid-ride, which would trigger its anti-theft braking system. Lime couldn’t comment on whether the Switzerland issue was related to the one in New Zealand. Lime also couldn’t comment on whether it had received reports of this issue occurring outside those two countries.
In New Zealand, Lime says it has rolled out a firmware update to fix the issue and has seen a “material reduction” in reported incidents. However, the company says it is still investigating one excessive braking report since the update went out. It also couldn’t comment on whether the fix applied to all Lime scooters or just the affected ones in New Zealand.
“We’re thankful almost all of the injuries reported are minor scrapes and bruises, although regrettably there are three reports of fractures or sprains, and we have been in touch with each customer to offer our support,” Lime said in its statement.
Until then, Auckland officials chose to suspend the company’s license to operate because of safety concerns. Lime agreed to an independent review to assess the cause of the problem and report any incidents going forward.
“The safety of people using e-scooters and those that share the environment with them is our number one priority,” said Auckland Council Chief Operating Officer Dean Kimpton in a press release. “While we appreciate the amenity that e-scooters offer as an innovative transport solution, safety is not negotiable.”This post was originally published here