Company or individual details
- Lime Network Pty Ltd628 322 930
Lime Network Pty Ltd (Lime) has provided the ACCC with a court enforceable section 87B undertaking to address the ACCC’s concerns about misrepresentations as to the safety of Lime e-scooters in Australia, and Lime’s product safety reporting obligations under the ACL.
In certain circumstances excessive brake force, or locking, could occur on the front wheel of Lime-S Generation 2.5 model e-scooters (Gen 2 e-scooters). This resulted in the e-scooter stopping unexpectedly, causing users to sustain serious injuries (such as broken bones, damage to teeth, cuts and abrasions), and placing others at risk of serious injury (the Unexpected Stopping Issue).
Lime e-scooters were available for hire in Brisbane until 23 March 2020, when Lime’s operations were suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions. Lime e-scooters were also previously trialled in Adelaide and at Victoria’s Monash University Clayton Campus.
The ACCC considers that Lime:
- misrepresented to consumers in Australia that its Gen 2 e-scooters were safe to use and would not cause injury when used as intended. In fact, from user feedback starting in November 2018, Lime was aware of the safety hazard associated with the Unexpected Stopping Issue and did not adequately disclose to consumers the associated risk of injury; and
- undermined the effective operation of Australia’s product safety regulations by:
- failing to appropriately notify the Commonwealth Minister of the firmware updates it applied to its Gen 2 e-scooters to address the Unexpected Stopping Issue, which the ACCC considered constituted a voluntary recall (section 128 of the ACL); and
- failing to report serious injuries to the Commonwealth Minister on at least 50 occasions (section 131 of the ACL).
Lime has acknowledged in its undertaking that this conduct was likely to contravene sections 18, 29(1)(a), 33, and 128 of the ACL, and admitted it contravened section 131 of the ACL.
The undertaking from Lime includes commitments to:
- publish a statement about the undertaking on its website and in an email to users of the Lime App;
- supply only Gen 3 or later model e-scooters if Lime recommences operations in Australia;
- take timely actions to address any safety issues or defects affecting its e-scooters, including by directly and prominently notifying users of any safety hazards as soon as it becomes aware; and
- implement a comprehensive Consumer Compliance Program containing improved injury reporting systems and stringent product safety procedures.