Onewheel is a self-balancing, single-wheel electric skateboard. It runs on rechargeable batteries. OneWheel products are made by Future Motion. All OneWheel models have a front foot pad that detects pressure and uses the rider’s body motion to accelerate and begin braking.
There have been many reports of events using electric skateboards. This includes four recorded fatalities and injuries between 2019 and 2021. The U.S. watchdog recalled all 300,000 products distributed in the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It’s due to the possibility of serious injuries from crashes. Thus, all styles of electric one-wheel skateboards are subject to recall.
Future Motion claimed to have “an innovative new safety alert feature” on a part of its website related to the recall. It says some Onewheel owners can install via a software update in the upcoming weeks to make their devices safer. Let us know more about the recall of OneWheel in detail in this article.
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History of Onewheel
Onewheel is an electric single-wheel board-sport recreational personal transporter that can balance itself. It’s often compared to an electric skateboard. In contrast to the electric unicycle, the rider stands on a board with feet on either side of the Wheel, which pushes the rider sideways.
Ben Smither created the first model resembling a one-wheel in 2007. Several years later, Future Motion Inc. founder and CEO Kyle Doerksen developed a commercial version of the concept. He resigned from his job at IDEO in 2013 and founded Future Motion Inc. in Santa Cruz. On January 6, 2014, he created OneWheel on Kickstarter. Thus, Onewheel is being created!
By January 27, 2014, Kickstarter had raised more than $630,000 compared to its $100,000 campaign target.
In 2015, the first OneWheel was made available. The Onewheel+, Onewheel+ XR, and Onewheel Pint came after it in 2017, 2018, and 2019, respectively. Onewheel released the Onewheel GT and Pint X, their most recent models, in late 2021.
What happened to the Onewheel?
Future Motion announced a voluntary recall of about 20,500 Onewheel GT front footpads on August 11, 2022. This was in response to 813 complaints that the footpad would not be released once the rider got off.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) warned customers not to use Onewheels on November 16, 2022. They noted the fatalities of four riders (three of whom were not wearing helmets). It includes serious injuries suffered by others who were ejected from the board.
Future Motion declines to recall one-wheel skateboards
The Consumer Product Safety Commission of the United States has advised consumers not to use Future Motion’s one-wheel, self-balancing electric skateboard. According to the commission, ejected riders from e-skateboards risk dying from head trauma and severe injuries. According to a statement released by the CPSC on November 16, 2022, at least four deaths were documented between 2019 and 2021.
There have also been reports of ligament damage.
- severe brain injury,
- upper-body fractures, and
- lower-body fractures.
The CPSC said Future Motion refused to approve “an acceptable recall” of its Onewheel products. Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel GT, Onewheel, Onewheel Plus, and Onewheel Plus X.R. are some of them.
Future Motion responded to the CPSC’s warning on November 16. They stated that e-skateboards are safe if the rider sticks to “common-sense safe riding rules. They added, “It is common to any board sport.” It stated in the press release that it does not agree with the CPSC’s findings.
“Future Motion investigated many boards that the rider claims suddenly stopped. But in no case have we discovered any underlying technical problem with the board,” the business stated. “All of these boards worked as designed. Also, we were test-ridden for many miles without any performance issues.”
One-wheel riders maintain balance on a board with a single wheel in its center. The speed of the e-skateboard increases as the rider leans forward. Onewheel’s Frequently Asked Questions page says that some boards can travel at speeds of up to 16 to 19 miles per hour. According to the CPSC, customers complained that the e-skates either failed to balance the rider or suddenly stopped while in Motion.
Future Motion’s founder, Kyle Doerksen, stated that One Wheel has no mechanical flaw. But other vehicles, such as ATVs or mountain bikes, have inherent risks.
Doerksen highlighted the importance of wearing a helmet and other safety equipment while riding a one-wheel. He claimed that all four one-wheel fatalities involved riders who hadn’t put on a helmet.
More than 100 additional riders also had serious injuries. This is according to attorney Aaron Heckaman. He claims to represent the families of the five victims who died. He claims that helmet use was common among riders.
“Future Motion is conscious that the finding in one of the cases shows that the deceased rider was wearing a helmet. The incident happened when his board nosedived and threw him to the pavement,” Heckaman stated in a letter to CNET. He stated, “Many of them were wearing helmets or other safety gear,” about other serious injury instances.
According to Doerksen, the OneWheel gives riders a warning. It is issued when they attempt to move too quickly and urges them to do so.
When the rider “ignores and goes against those warnings,” he warned, “you can push the board too much, at which point it may not be able to balance you further.”
The FAQ page’s “Are One Wheels Safe?” section links to a 2018 video related to the Pushback warning system. The comments below the video show that its purpose has puzzled some people. On November 12, 2022, a new video highlighting the feature was posted. However, the comment part was disabled.
According to Doerksen, Future Motion will work “collaboratively” with the CPSC on technological safety upgrades. “We will try to ensure that this product works as designed. We also highlight the value of riding safely and wearing suitable safety gear,” he stated.
Lawsuits on the Onewheel
In 2022, the CPSC received at least 51 complaints about one-wheel skateboards. Forty-seven of them stated they were expelled or fell after the skateboard stopped or the self-balancing mechanism stopped. Broken bones, concussions, and wounds were the most commonly reported injuries. Riders ranged in age from 30 to 58 in 42 of the incidents. The CPSC has received reports of almost two dozen such occurrences this year. This includes fractures and head and brain injuries.
A 47-year-old man claimed in September 2022 that his arm was fractured into four parts and needed surgery. In one issued in October 2022, a 31-year-old man claimed to have been wearing a helmet. He was taken away by ambulance after suffering head injuries, facial fractures, and blindness in his left eye.
Lawsuits involving Onewheel were in the early stages as of October 1, 2023, but the number of claims gradually increased. According to the plaintiffs, the onewheel abruptly stopped, forcing them to fall and get hurt.
The following are the most recent changes to the Onewheel lawsuit:
- On September 29, 2023, Future Motion announced a recall for 300,000 one-wheel skateboards due to a flaw that could pose an accident risk.
- On September 9, 2023, Matthew Boston filed a OneWheel complaint after the device abruptly stopped. It caused him to suffer injuries to his face, arms, chest, and legs while falling to the ground. Jonathan Wesley Burke filed a similar case on September 8.
- On September 1, 2023, Future Motion filed a petition to combine all one-wheel cases, claiming that the skateboard’s sudden malfunction led to fall injuries. The Middle District of Florida would be the location of the case consolidation.
- On August 30, 2023, Ibarra and Future Motion could not agree on the specific section of the release. Future Motion filed a request to enforce the settlement.
- In May 2023, Jason Ibarra allegedly made an undisclosed agreement with Future Motion before the trial.
- In November 2021, Jason Ibarra sued Future Motion. He claims that his Onewheel abruptly stopped, ejected, and injured him.
In the Middle District of Florida, Future Motion filed a motion in September 2023. This was to combine pending claims from all across the nation. Future Motion requested the transfer of 31 cases to Florida at the time of the Motion for merger.
Why are one-wheel lawsuits being filed?
In one case brought against Future Motion, it is alleged that the skateboard can stop abruptly throwing users into a deadly nosedive. Another lawsuit was brought against the business. It claims that the “nosedive defect” can happen when the skateboard pushes back against the rider as part of a safety-slowing mechanism.
The Pint, the Pint X, and the G.T. are the three versions that Future Motion promotes on their website. Each model has a unique maximum speed that ranges from 16 to 20 mph. Electric one-wheel skateboards are not advised for kids under the age of 13.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning about one-wheel electric skateboards. This was in response to claims that the skateboarders have been to blame for serious injuries and deaths. One-wheel incidents have resulted in upper and lower body fractures, torn ligaments, paralysis, head injuries, and traumatic brain injuries. Between 2019 and 2021, four deaths related to head trauma were recorded.
Who can file a lawsuit against a one-wheel skateboard?
Onewheel lawsuits may be filed by anyone who suffered minor or severe injuries due to an electric skateboard from Onewheel.
One-wheel electric skateboard injuries don’t need to be seriously life-threatening to bring a lawsuit. Minor injuries are of importance to advocates as well.
Families who have experienced a loss due to one-wheel use may be able to make a wrongful death claim. If you can sue Future Motion, approach an experienced lawyer. They will assist you in doing so and help you plan your future steps.
Onewheel has been recalled
Finally, every single one-wheel electric skateboard is being recalled by the maker, Future Motion. This recall includes the 300,000 one-wheel self-balancing vehicles sold in the U.S. The company now works with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). This is to fix the goods amid four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021. Out of those, three occurred without a helmet.
The recall was announced a year after Future Motion rejected the CPSC’s requests for a recall (as mentioned above). It said that it had examined the Onewheels and found no defects. In a news release, the business criticized the CPSC and referred to its claims as “unjustified and alarmist.”
Future Motion has decided to go through with a voluntary recall that had been delayed for over a year. The firm urges owners to put their Onewheels away until the necessary steps have been taken. A software update with a new warning mechanism is the solution for the more recent models. It includes the Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, and Onewheel Plus X.R. models.
However, the CPSC and Future Motion are advising the first-generation Onewheel and Onewheel Plus owners to discontinue using them and throw them away. Onewheel’s chief evangelist, Jack Mudd, was asked by a reporter in an email about how many of the original units have been affected. But Mudd declined to respond. Mudd also declined to explain why the business insisted there were no problems and publicly rejected a recall in 2022.
Mudd did confirm that the other models are receiving the software update globally, not just in the U.S.
What action has been taken?
One-wheel skateboards have malfunctioned in certain crashes after being pushed to their limits. Riders can feel and hear a new warning “Haptic Buzz” input. It will happen with the following actions on the product:
- When the vehicle enters an error state,
- is running low on battery,
- has reached its limits and
- Has to slow down after receiving a software update for the Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, and Onewheel Plus X.R.
The company’s recall webpage states that this update results from months of collaboration with the CPSC.
The company referred to the CPSC’s Onewheels warning as “misleading” in November 2022. But it also declared that it would “work to enhance the CPSC’s knowledge of self-balancing vehicle technology. It is also said to seek collaboration with the agency to improve rider safety.
Owners must run a firmware update by connecting their Onewheels to the companion app. The procedure is deeply explained in a new video.
But early adopters can get a “prorated credit of $100 toward the purchase of a new board,” as per Mudd. Owners will only receive the credit after verifying that they have properly disposed of the previous model.
Future Motion released a new video on YouTube pointing out the new Haptic Buzz feature. It is providing riding tips along with their decision to reverse course on the recall of Onewheel.
In the video, Mudd states, “We’ve been working closely with the CPSC for over a year to create this new safety measure. He continues, saying that ignoring haptic buzz or pushback “can result in serious damage or death.”
It took engineers some time to create Haptic Buzz. It may not have been finished in time following the CPSC’s first alarm last year.
Regulators advised owners of one-wheel skateboards to stop using them right away. All Onewheel electric skateboards sold online and via independent retailers between January 2014 and September of this year are included in the recall. This includes the Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+ XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X, and Onewheel GT.
Onewheel posted on its website, “You should not use One wheels that haven’t been updated or that are not accepted for the firmware update.” along with advising all riders to wear helmets and other safety equipment. “Rider safety is our number one priority. It is essential to the sport’s long-term success,” they added.
More details of the recalled models
Between January 2014 and September 2023, the recalled goods were offered for sale nationwide. They were sold for between $1,050 and $2,200 online at www.onewheel.com, other websites, and in independent stores. The skateboards have model names imprinted on the sides for easy recognition.
Anyone who owns a self-balancing electric one-wheel skateboard should stop using it immediately. Some models, such as the Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, or Onewheel+ XR, can be updated. It can be done via the app that goes along with them to include “haptic buzz alert functionality.”
To be precise, a haptic buzz is a device that buzzes and makes noises to alert riders when the board is approaching its limits, has a low battery, or has an error. (as mentioned above)
For the Onewheel GT, this firmware upgrade will likely be ready in one week (as of October 2, 2023). However, it will take six weeks for the Pint X, Pint, and X.R.
For a prorated refund in the form of store credit, owners of the Original Onewheel or Onewheel+ model must completely discard their products. They must do this before submitting a confirmation of that disposal to Future Motion.
What happened to Onewheel in the U.K.?
A representative of the U.K. government informed the BBC that it would look into the matter. Also, it said that it would “take action swiftly” if necessary.
Depending on the brand and type of skateboard, Future Motion said U.K. customers could check their choices on its website. It ranges from a software update to a $100 (£82) shop credit.
Requests for recalls must be made using a link on Future Motion’s website. It follows the removal of the electric skateboards from sale by one U.K. retailer, The Snowboard Shop.
While it investigated the problem, it promised to notify Onewheels buyers. Also, it stated it had contacted the manufacturer for more information.
Although there isn’t a “buy” button, it has decided to keep the products on its website. This is to provide a link to the product recall notification. Instead, potential buyers can only “enquire” about them. In response, it is providing details about the recall.
Reporters also contacted other U.K. distributors of one-wheel electric skateboards for comment.
Thus, owners of electric one-wheel skateboards should read the complete CPSC recall notice and adhere to all of its guidelines. Owners can get complete instructions for changing the firmware on specific models by reading Onewheel’s recall notice on its website.
Owners of outdated devices will get a prorated $100 discount credit that can be applied to the cost of a new Onewheel. Onewheel advises against using Onewheels that have not received a firmware update or are not qualified for one.
Visit recall.onewheel.com to identify serial numbers associated with the Onewheel GT recall. If you own an Onewheel GT electric skateboard and think you might need to repair the front footpads, take steps ASAP.