CPSC Declares Future Motion’s Onewheel Is Too Dangerous To Ride

Nov 17, 2022

Updated 11/22/22

The Summary

Yep, you read this right.

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued an official statement declaring Onewheel’s too dangerous to be ridden.

Here’s their full statement (I want to have it here in case it gets taken down):

CPSC Statement

“WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning consumers about the risk of death and serious injury with Future Motion’s Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboards. CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using all Onewheel models (Onewheel, Onewheel+, Onewheel+ XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X, and Onewheel GT).

CPSC evaluated the Onewheel products and found that they can cause the rider to be ejected from the product, which can result in serious injury or death to the rider. There have been at least four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021 and multiple reports of serious injuries after the product failed to balance the rider or suddenly stopped while in motion. The reported deaths resulted from head trauma. Reported injuries include traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper-body fractures, lower-body fractures, and ligament damage.

The Onewheel products are self-balancing electric skateboards with a single wheel in the middle of the board and front and rear footpads where the rider stands astride the wheel. The brand (Onewheel) and model (e.g., Onewheel+, Pint, GT) appear on the side of the skateboard. The Onewheel logo is printed on the skateboard’s wheel. The serial number can be found on the underside of the bottom of the skateboard rail.

The Onewheel products have been sold since 2014, online at www.onewheel.com and by authorized independent dealers nationwide. Current models are priced between $1050 and $2200.

Future Motion has refused to agree to an acceptable recall of the product. CPSC intends to continue pursuing a recall for consumers.

CPSC urges consumers not to buy the Onewheel. If you already own one or purchased one, do not use it due to the ejection hazard. Report incidents with the Onewheel and any dangerous product or a product-related injury on www.SaferProducts.gov.

CPSC urges consumers NOT to resell or donate the Onewheel so others are not put in danger by the hazard.

Under section 6(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act, the CPSC is required to include with this press release any comments from the manufacturer or a summary thereof. The company objects to this press release. As summarized, the firm states that all Onewheel electric skateboards are safe when operated following basic safe riding principles common to any board sport. The firm sees no reason for riders to stop using their boards or new riders to not purchase one. The firm states that it always encourages riders to carefully educate themselves on how to use the board safely, ride within their abilities, and wear a helmet and other safety gear. The firm states that Onewheel users know that there are inherent risks in riding an electric skateboard, just as there are in any other board sport, or with riding an e-bike, electric scooter, ATV, or motorcycle. The firm states that safety is at the core of its business and that it has made continual improvements in product safety over the six generations of products it has in the market. The firm states that the overwhelming majority of Onewheel riders use the board the way it is supposed to be used, stay within their abilities, respect the board’s operational limits, and follow local laws.

Commissioner Richard Trumka Statement

Release Number
23-046″

Future Motion’s response (as of 11/17/22)

Future Motion released an official statement via PR Newswire the same day (11/16/22).

Here’s the full statement from Future Motion:

Future Motion Statement

“Company Reaffirms Onewheel Products Are Safe and that Inherent Risks Are Comparable to Other Board Sports and Recreational Products

SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Future Motion, the California based small business that proudly designs and assembles Onewheel electric skateboards in the USA, today issued the following statement in response to the unjustified and alarmist statements by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding Onewheel products:

Onewheel electric skateboards are safe when operated following common-sense safe riding practices that are common to any board sport. We strongly disagree with the CPSC’s unjustified and alarmist claims, and we see no reason for riders to stop using their boards. We go to great lengths to encourage riders to educate themselves on safety and the overwhelming majority of riders use the board safely, ride within their abilities, respect the board’s safety systems, follow local laws, and wear a helmet and other safety gear. Onewheel riders are adults who know that there are inherent risks in riding an electric skateboard, just as there are in other board sports like snowboarding, or with riding an e-bike, electric scooter, ATV, or motorcycle.

Hundreds of thousands of Onewheel riders have safely ridden over 100 million miles on Onewheels worldwide since 2014. A large and growing community has emerged around Onewheels because of a rider’s ability to ride on and off-road while feeling like snowboarding on powder. Rather than collaborate on how to further improve safety, the CPSC has unfortunately issued a sensational message about a product that brings joy and exhilaration to hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Safety is at the core of Future Motion’s business. We built safety into our boards from our first model and have made continual improvements in product safety over the next five generations we have brought to the market. Every Onewheel is carefully assembled and individually tested in our California factory. In fact we are one of the only companies responsibly building our micromobility products in the USA.

Future Motion has evaluated a number of boards that the rider claims suddenly stopped, and in no case have we found any underlying technical issue with the board. All of these boards performed as designed and were test ridden for many miles without any performance issues.

All board and recrecational sports carry inherent risk of crashes and injury, such as “going over the bars” on a mountain bike or “catching an edge” on a snowboard. In addition to the safety protections built into the boards, we consistently communicate to riders the critical importance of wearing safety gear and riding within the abilities of the rider and the board. Safety equipment such as certified helmets and wrist-guards, rider education video content, and customer support are available at www.onewheel.com.

Onewheels are a safe low-speed activity, especially when measured against other common forms of recreational transportation. In 2020 bicycles were associated with more than 1,200 deaths, ATVs were associated with more than 650 deaths and motorcycles were associated with more than 5,500 deaths. On a per-mile and per-vehicle basis, Onewheels have lower rates of serious injury than these other popular motion products, all of which are also capable of much higher speeds.

The CPSC hasn’t always taken this approach with the board riding community. During the rapid rise in both the popularity of and injuries associated with snowboarding in the 1990s, the CPSC said: “We all know that falling or ‘wiping out’ is inevitable. Snowboarders should take lessons to help them enjoy the sport and reduce the risk of injury.” The CPSC attributed a massive spike in snowboarding injuries to the rising popularity of the sport and lack of instruction for novice snowboarders. Yet the CPSC is unjustifiably treating the Onewheel community very differently, and singling out the Onewheel because it is a new technology.

The rapid growth of micromobility, especially during the pandemic, caused more than 77,000 injuries and 48 deaths between 2017 and 2021 with e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards, according to the CPSC. The agency has recognized the fall hazard inherent to hoverboards going back to 2015 and addressed it then by calling on riders to “always wear a proper helmet and padding.” The CPSC’s response to the recent increase in accidents within the growing micromobility products category has been to urge consumers to “use caution and safety” and provide basic safety information. Onewheel riders should be treated no differently.

When technical issues arise, Future Motion is more than willing to engage collaboratively with the CPSC, as we did earlier this year with a successful recall of the front footpad for the Onewheel GT. While the content of the agency’s recent press release is extraordinarily disappointing and misleading, Future Motion will continue to work to enhance the CPSC’s understanding of self-balancing vehicle technology and seek to collaborate with the agency to enhance rider safety.

The Onewheel community is a thriving and growing subculture, a source of positive mental health, an ideal “last mile” solution for commuters and students, and an environmentally beneficial electric vehicle that gets riders out in nature. We know our boards are safe and our dedicated customers operate Onewheels safely every day across the U.S. and worldwide.

About Future Motion, Inc
Founded in 2013, Future Motion is committed to designing and developing inspiring vehicles that include both elegant form and unprecedented function. Future Motion’s products, Onewheel Pint, Pint X and Onewheel GT, exemplify its dedication to crafting products that bridge recreation and transportation. Future Motion designs not only the Onewheel product line but also all the subsystems that power it, including custom brushless motors, power electronics and battery modules. Onewheel, which provides a riding experience similar to surfing but on paved or unpaved trails, is perfectly situated in Santa Cruz where the mountains meet the sea. Its products are protected by over 70 issued patents in the U.S. and worldwide.

PRESS CONTACTS
Jack Mudd jack@onewheel.com (650) 400-3123
KARV Communications OWmedia@karvcommunications.com (212) 333-0275

SOURCE Future Motion”

CPSC responds to Future Motion

After Future Motion released their statement, Richard Trumka from the CSPC issued a response on November 16, 2022.

Here’s the full response:

“Immediately stop using all Onewheel electric skateboards—they are not worth dying for.

Future Motion’s Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboard have a fatal defect: they can eject their riders, causing serious injury and death. At least four people have tragically died from traumatic head injuries.

CPSC instructed Future Motion to stop selling the Onewheel and to advise its customers not to use this dangerous product. The company refused. Future Motion is unwilling to take appropriate action to fix a product hazard that has killed people.

CPSC had to take action and issue this warning to not buy or use this product.

Statement

Richard Trumka

The Memes

Future Motion has also taken to social media and rallied riders to support Future Motion and Onewheel riding and show the CPSC that they disagree.

Sign The Petition

If you’re interested in voicing your opinion to the CPSC Future Motion has a petition circling and you can sign that here:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LetUsRide

My Take

I signed the petition this morning.

I love riding my Onewheel, so much so that I have a series of blogs and a few YouTube videos that show how much I love it.

My wife likes to ride it occasionally, my kids love to go on rides around our neighborhood and in the grass.

Riding at 2 mph in my backyard isn’t going to hurt anyone.

My son started learning at 3, holding my hand and going slow with a helmet.

So for me this whole CPSC claim is total nonsense.

Everything you ever do carries inherent risk, you have to decide whether or not that level or risk is worth the reward of doing the thing.

My 55 year old dad still rides his dirt bike every Saturday, despite multiple broken bones, hospital visits and stitches.

For him, the reward is worth the risk.

For me, my wife and kids, the Onewheel is worth the risk.

I know better than to go crazy when I’m riding alone or with family.

I wear a helmet, and make my kids do the same when we actually ride, and we acknowledge and own the risk, because the fun is worth it.

Update 11/22/22

On Tuesday November 22nd Future Motion printed out and delivered 4000 letters from Onewheel fans to the CPSC expressing their love for the sport.

Also today a reddit user posted an email conversation with a rep from the CPSC that seemed to say that the boards really do have a defect.

This conversation makes want to hear more from Future Motion, what is the actual defect?

Why does the CPSC see this as a fatal flaw but Future Motion sees it as such a small issue they rally their community around it.

At the end of the day I think there’s a lot of crucial info the public does not have that we need in order to decide if these boards are a hazard or not.

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1 thought on “CPSC Declares Future Motion’s Onewheel Is Too Dangerous To Ride”

  1. I would never give up riding my onewheel, and I injured my self so bad on it when I first got it I could not ride it for a month. The best transportation I ever bought it’s perfect for las vegas as it don’t rain here much. The float life is the good life.

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