On March 19, 2017, an electric bike caught fire in Newport Beach and according to witnesses, battery parts were strewn everywhere. The incident occurred at the end of an access ramp on 18th Street.In a police report, it was stated that minutes prior to the incident, a man and woman sat next to their parked electric bikes when suddenly, one of the bikes’ battery malfunctioned.Lifeguards at the scene said battery parts were popping everywhere. Fortunately, no one was injured and firefighters arrived quickly. They used a dry chemical to put out the fire. Officials said the owners of the bikes bought them just the week before, for about $2,500 each. One bike was destroyed while the other one was damaged.
Electric Bikes and Personal Injury Cases
Unlike electric motorcycles or electric scooters, electric bikes look just like regular bicycles. The only thing that’s different is that they have electrical components like a motor, a controller and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
You still need to pedal and handle an electric bike in the same way that you would ride a regular bike. The electric components are designed to boost human power, instead of replace it. For example, when you’re pedaling along hills and steep roads, you don’t have to exert too much effort. The electric power design also makes it easier for you to ride your bike on a windy day.
Lithium Ion Batteries: Safety Issues Causing Injury
Electric bicycles can cost quite a bit of money and yet there have been cases in which the bikes themselves caught fire. Even those parked inside homes have burst in flames. Thankfully, no major injuries have been reported so far.
The lithium ion batteries that power these bikes are said to be the cause of the fires. In the Newport Beach incident, witnesses described how the bike’s batteries shot up in the air similar to e-cigarette explosions in which lithium-ion batteries had strewn projectiles in the air. It may be that the manufacturer used substandard batteries and bike parts, which resulted in the explosions.
If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of defective lithium-ion batteries, get in touch with a San Diego personal injury lawyer so you can get the compensation you rightfully deserve.