Lime scooters have Auckland licence 'temporarily suspended' due to brake fault concerns

Auckland Council and Auckland Transport have today announced that Lime's trial of electric scooters in the city will be "temporarily suspended" due to brake fault concerns.

The move comes after a week of pressure on the company due to a number of accidents attributed to a fault in the braking system of the scooters.

The fault has led to serious injuries after the users have been thrown off due to sudden, unexpected braking, including an Auckland man who broke his jaw in two places.

Lime is currently operating in Auckland under an Auckland Council trading in public places bylaw, which was today temporarily suspended.

Lime have until Monday to assure their equipment is safe with a detailed report before Auckland Council makes their ultimate decision on whether or not the scooters can operate in Auckland.

The scooters can be remotely disabled and it's unclear if they will remain on the streets in a disabled mode until the decision is made.

Lime says it has identified 155 irregular braking incidents as a result of a locking issue, 30 resulted in injury 19 of which were in Auckland.

The San Francisco company had been given a deadline of noon today to provide both Auckland Transport and Auckland Council with assurances about the safety of the scooters.

The company has insisted that "the affected scooters have been removed from circulation" and that "we are in the process of rolling out early detection and additional preventative measures for our global fleet".

Anthony Fleo, Lime’s APAC Regional General Manager issued a statement to 1 NEWS on the decision.

"We recently became aware of a software issue that may cause the locking mechanism on the front wheel to engage while on a trip.

"Less than a fraction of a percent of all Lime trips in New Zealand have been impacted by this issue, specifically 0.0086%. While a small fraction of the more than 1.8 million scooter rides to date, even one incident reported is too many.

"We remain committed to being a safe and reliable last mile solution and are confident that once we provide additional information to the City Council in the coming days, we will be back on the streets of Auckland soon," he said.

Latest figures from ACC show a total of 1263 electric scooter-related claims since Limes were deployed in the week beginning October 14.

ACC is unable to differentiate between claims made by people riding Lime scooters and those riding other models.

The total cost of these claims has been $566,405 so far.

Lime scooters are also currently present in the Hutt Valley, Christchurch and Dunedin.

1 NEWS understands other councils are now also reviewing their Lime trials after Auckland Council's decision this afternoon and Dunedin has also temporarily suspended Lime scooters according to the Otago Daily Times.

The company has also expressed interest in starting trials in Queenstown, Tauranga and Hamilton.

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    It comes after concerns over braking issues. Source: 1 NEWS