City of Dallas investigating reports of rideshare scooters breaking apart
Dallas officials are investigating reports of electric rideshare scooters breaking in half and sending riders hurling to the ground.
The probe comes as Lime recently acknowledged certain models might break in half and began studying the issue. That note said the scooters might break if subjected to repeated abuse. The company now says it is recalling certain models.
Dallas city transportation officials say they are looking into the complaints. The city has now met with all of the companies requesting certain information from them related to scooter safety.
Stephen Williams says he was riding a Lime scooter on October 10 and was crossing the busy Downtown Dallas intersection at Field and Main.
“I just go over the manhole cover. It's a pretty well-paved area,” he recalled. “I didn't hit it that hard. Just normal road conditions.”
Williams says the scooter broke in half. He took photos after to show the damage as well as the bruises the fall left behind.
“As soon as I hit it, it broke in half. Then, I fell chest first on the ground,” he said. “Fortunately, my brother and me were the two nerds wearing helmets this time.”
Williams posted about what happened to him on Facebook and contacted Lime. A few days later, city of Dallas transportation officials met with him after seeing his post.
One official tells FOX 4 they started getting similar reports through 311 from other riders and launched an investigation.
A couple weeks later, Lime announced that "baseboards from one scooter manufacturer, Okai, can sometimes break when subjected to repeated abuse." They added that “it’s possible for Okai baseboards to crack or break if ridden off a curb at high speed.”
The company says it is also immediately decommissioning all Okai scooters in the global fleet.
Williams says Lime is dodging responsibility by pointing to people riding off curbs as an issue.
“When I read that I was very frustrated. I felt a little betrayed,” he said. “And they haven't contacted me back since then. I feel like Lime was blaming the users.”
Williams has also raised questions about the September death of 24-year-old Jacoby Stoneking. Police say he had an accident on a Lime scooter. A passing driver found him unconscious with a Lime scooter. It was broken in half, lying nearby.
But Dallas police say Stoneking’s case is now closed and say detectives only found evidence the scooter broke when it was run over by a car after Stoneking fell off.
“I do love the system,” Williams said. “And I want to see it done right.”
Williams hopes the scooter companies take safety issues seriously so the popular program can continue to thrive.
“I love the scooters. I think they are great,” he said. “I think they revolutionize personal transportation, especially in downtown. They stitch our highway-divided cities back together.”
The Washington Post released a report over the weekend. It reviewed evidence and talked with an anonymous Lime mechanic who says the devices can develop cracks in the baseboard within days of use.
Lime has not said how many scooters are Okai, what percentage of its fleet are Okai or if they are all already off the streets.