Kelley Uustal Trial Attorney
March 26, 2019

Lime Scooters Issue Warning After Scooters Brake Without Warning

Rentable dockless scooters have been in high demand in Fort Lauderdale and throughout the globe since their debut. Fort Lauderdale permitted Lime to be the first dockless scooter provider in the city, after passing an ordinance to approve the program in July 2018. Not even one year later, however, Lime is facing significant backlash for what the company calls a “software glitch.” The glitch causes the scooters to brake unexpectedly, especially going down hills, posing a high risk of user injuries.

Lime Scooter Glitch May Cause Serious Injuries

Lime’s dockless electric scooters operate using software that communicates between the handlebars and the wheels. When functioning properly, a rider can activate the brakes in the handlebars and slowly stop the vehicle. An alleged software glitch, however, is triggering the brakes unexpectedly and without user input – resulting in many riders getting thrown from the scooter. Lime received reports of random braking from its riders in New Zealand and Switzerland, and quickly pulled all its scooters from Swiss streets.

After 155 reported cases of Lime scooters abruptly braking, the city of Auckland voted to suspend the company. It was at this point Lime came forward with a statement explaining that the company had found a bug in the scooter software that can cause sudden, excessive braking in the middle of a ride. Lime says it only happens in very rare cases, but these cases are usually riding downhill at top speed – when the rider is at the highest risk of injuries. So far, the glitch has caused at least 30 injuries.

Reported rider injuries due to the glitch have included road rash, abrasions, bruises, muscle sprains, a dislocated shoulder, and even a broken jaw. The victim with the broken jaw, an Auckland man named Liam Thompson, said the Lime scooter’s front wheel suddenly locked up while he was riding. The abrupt stop catapulted Liam over the handlebars, and he landed directly on his jaw. He walked home and ended up having to go on a liquid diet for six weeks during recovery.

What Is Lime Doing About the Glitch?

Riders like Liam are demanding answers from Lime, and do not want the defective scooters to be available to others. Lime has acknowledged the issue and says it has people working on resolving it. In the meantime, Lime has removed its scooters from areas in Switzerland and New Zealand for safety purposes. Lime is evidently investigating whether the cause of the glitch was a recent software update. The new software may be rebooting the scooters mid-ride, triggering the anti-theft front-wheel braking system.

The company has made an agreement with Auckland officials to report any incidents moving forward and to submit to an independent review of the cause of the problem. The latest update from Lime says that the company has already rolled out another update aimed to remedy the braking issue. Lime says it has seen a “material reduction” in the number of such incidents reported. However, the company still urges riders to squeeze the brakes tightly in the beginning, to ensure the brakes are working properly. Lime has not stated whether the issue has occurred in the U.S. However, one man in Texas is filing a claim against the company for injuries he says he acquired when the wheels on his Lime scooter locked up.

Speak to an Attorney at Kelley | Uustal Today

Our personal injury lawyers at Kelley | Uustal can help victims of Lime scooter accidents in Fort Lauderdale. You can benefit from our unique Forensic Discovery Methodology, in which we find evidence others may miss to serve as proof in your case. Our lawyers are not afraid to go up against scooter share companies in pursuit of justice and compensation for our clients. Find out if you have grounds for a case against Lime today. Call (954) 522-6601 or contact us online today for a free consultation.

Tell Us Your Story

Have a catastrophic injury case? Choose the law firm voted Best Personal Injury Firm in the Fort Lauderdale and Miami area. Fill out the form below and a Kelley | Uustal representative will be in touch promptly.