Whenever questions arise as to whether or not a product is defective and/or dangerous, one of the first things to consider is the consumer’s level of responsibility when using the product. For example, consumers are expected to exercise reasonable caution when using wheeled devices such as bicycles and skateboards. However, newer devices such as Onewheels have more electronic features than ever, which increases both the risk of accident and the possibility of filing a product liability claim. Recently, numerous lawsuits have been filed against the manufacturer of Onewheel, over defects related to the motor and the device’s “pushback” feature.
Anyone who has suffered injuries in an accident involving a defective Onewheel device is encouraged to contact the product liability attorneys from Van Law Firm at this time. We’ve helped countless claimants get the compensation they deserve after suffering injuries from harmful or defective products, and we’re ready to help you too–call our location nearest you today to schedule a risk-free consultation.
What are Onewheels?
The Onewheel is an electric skateboard-like device that features a wooden deck for riders to stand on with a single tire in the middle, hence the name. It utilizes gyroscopes and a battery-powered motor to help riders balance and accelerate (it is not a manual device such as a regular skateboard), and it can reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour or even higher downhill.
In the past few years, both the standard Onewheel model as well as the Onewheel+ XR version have substantially increased in use and popularity. While they were once considered to be niche products, Onewheels have become a staple on city streets, college campuses, and suburban neighborhoods around the country. Most riders are aware of the potential risks associated with wheeled devices, and are respectful of the time it takes to become proficient in using them. Unfortunately, however, Onewheel devices have been shown to exhibit some defects that even experienced riders cannot compensate for.
What are the Alleged Defects of Onewheel and Onewheel+ XR Devices?
So far, there have been two specific defects alleged by Onewheel claimants, and they include:
- “Nosedive” accidents: The majority of claims are centered around “nosedive” incidents, in which the device’s motor abruptly shuts off, causing the board to slam forward into the ground. This sudden stop and change of direction is enough to buck off even the most adept riders, and when you factor in speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, it’s not hard to imagine that these incidents can cause some serious damage.
- “Pushback” accidents: Another concern claimants have raised relates to the board’s “pushback” feature, which momentarily stops momentum and sends a signal to the rider that the device is either low on battery or reaching its limits in terms of speed. However, this feature also has the potential to throw riders off balance or impact their ability to steer properly, as multiple claimants have alleged.
Future Motion, Inc., located in Santa Cruz, California, is responsible for the design, manufacture, and distribution of Onewheel products. The lawsuits filed against Future Motion so far have alleged that:
- The Onewheel and Onewheel+ XR models contain design and manufacturing defects that can cause riders to lose their balance or nosedive into the ground;
- Future Motion failed to properly warn consumers about these defects and the risk of potential injury; and
- The company was aware of these risks but downplayed their significance in order to convince consumers that their product was safe for general use.
Onewheel Accident Victims and Their Families are Coming Forward
Numerous claimants from all over the country are beginning to come forward after suffering injuries while riding defective Onewheel devices. Most notably, there have been at least three wrongful death actions–one in San Diego, California, one in Long Island, New York, and one in Houston, Texas. Litigation is still in its infancy, but several firms have filed class action lawsuits. More claims are expected to arise in the coming months.
Questions About a Potential Onewheel Claim? Contact VLF Today
If you have further questions about a potential Onewheel claim, or would like to speak with experienced product liability attorneys, please contact Van Law Firm at your earliest convenience. We have the tools and expertise needed to take on liable manufacturers, no matter how large or small they may be. Contact our office nearest you now for more information.