A series of lithium-ion battery fires in electric scooters have sparked serious concerns among officials in New York City.
According to the New York Daily News, the most recent one was at a studio apartment in Brooklyn where a tenant was running an off-the-books business fixing electric scooters and mopeds.
The article states that the city has seen a “massive jump” in battery fires as electric scooter use continues to grow in the city.
Injuries and Damage
The number of scooter battery fires so far this year put the city on pace to double the 44 such fires reported in all of 2020, according to FDNY data. Those 44 fires left 23 people injured in 2020. In 2019, the city’s fire department battled 28 scooter battery fires that left 16 injured. In the most recent fatal fire on Sept. 1, a charging moped battery killed 9-year-old Remi Fernandez of Queens as his parents desperately struggled to rescue him from their burning basement home.
The Brooklyn apartment fire was one of four sparked by scooter and e-bike batteries just in the past week. One of the incidents occurred in the Bronx where the bike’s owner said he bought the battery on Amazon. He said the bike was not charging when it caught fire. Officials say factory-installed scooter batteries seem safe because they tend to adhere to industry standards. They say the ones that catch fire or explode normally tend to be purchased online or in area scooter stores.
Nationwide, charging lithium-ion batteries for devices such as scooters and e-bikes has sparked 330 fires in the United States between 2015 and 2018. These battery fires have caused more than $9 million in property damage, according to a Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) study released in 2020.
If You Have Been Affected
This is not the first our product defect lawyers have heard about lithium-ion batteries overheating and exploding or causing a fire. We’ve seen horrific incidents and injuries relating to products such as e-cigarettes or vaporizers, hoverboards, cell phones, and laptops. Often, these incidents occur because of defective lithium batteries manufactured with cheap or substandard parts.
These types of incidents have the potential to cause significant property damage and physical injuries. If you have been injured by a defective lithium-ion battery, you may be able to seek compensation for your damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, cost of rehabilitation, and pain and suffering. Injured victims would also be well advised to contact an experienced product defect attorney who will help them secure maximum compensation for their injuries, damages, and losses, and hold the at-fault parties accountable.