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Explained: Why has Ola Electric recalled over 1,400 scooters?

Ola Electric has said it is recalling more than 1,400 of its electric scooters in the wake of dozens of incidents of two-wheelers catching fire. Why now? What has the government said?

In the last few weeks, over a dozen electric scooters have caught fire, including those manufactured by Ola Electric, Okinawa, Pure EV and Jitendra EV. (File Photo)

Ola Electric has said it is recalling more than 1,400 of its electric scooters in the wake of dozens of incidents of two-wheelers catching fire, in which at least four people have been killed so far. The move came after Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari asked EV makers to take “advance action” to recall all defective batches of their vehicles immediately.

The recall

Ola Electric is recalling 1,441 scooters of a specific batch, one of which had burst in flames while parked on the roadside in a busy area in Pune last month. The company said the incident was likely “isolated”.

“Our internal investigation into the March 26 vehicle fire incident in Pune is ongoing and the preliminary assessment reveals that the thermal incident was likely an isolated one. As a pre-emptive measure, we will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles,” it said.
Ola Electric said the scooters being recalled will be inspected by its service engineers and will go through a diagnostics check across all battery, thermal and safety systems. The firm said its battery pack already complies with and is tested for AIS 156, the latest proposed standard for India, in addition to being compliant with the European standard ECE 136.

Recent EV fires

In the last few weeks, over a dozen electric scooters have caught fire including those manufactured by Ola Electric, Okinawa, Pure EV and Jitendra EV. Last month, an Okinawa scooter erupted into flames in Vellore, claiming the lives of a man and his 13-year-old daughter.
Earlier this month, more than 20 electric scooters made by Jitendra EV caught fire while being transported from the factory in Nashik. On Wednesday, an electric scooter made by Pure EV caught fire in Telangana’s Nizamabad after its battery exploded, killing an 80-year-old man.

The other companies have said they are investigating the possible reasons behind the fires. Pure EV has initiated a recall of 2,000 electric scooters; Okinawa has announced it is recalling more than 3,000 EVs to check them for potential safety issues.


Government’s response

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Earlier this week, Gadkari said that if EV makers are found “negligent in their process”, the government will impose a heavy penalty and order a recall of all their defective EVs. Quality-centric guidelines for EVs would be issued soon, he said. The Road Transport Ministry has ordered an investigation into the fire incidents by the Centre for Fire Explosive and Environment Safety.
Soumyarendra Barik

First published on: 24-04-2022 at 12:36:05 pm
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