Another Ola scooter goes into reverse mode in full speed, leaves rider severely injured, Auto News, ET Auto
New Delhi: Can a simple act of parking a scooter end up in a major accident? Unfortunately, an Ola did.
In the third instance of the S1 Pro scooter suffering from software bugs, a 65-year-old man, the father of the owner, was severely injured when the scooter reversed at a speed in excess of 50 kph. He was merely trying to park the vehicle.
The incident came to light on Wednesday when the owner Pallav Maheshwari shared it on a LinkedIn post blaming it on the scooter’s software.
“The software bug in the #olaelectric scooter of going in the reverse mode at full speed has severely injured my father. He was the one who even at the age of 65 is very active and was enthusiastic to use #ola #electricvehicle. Please look at what your #poorlytested scooter has done to him,” Maheshwari said.
“He was only taking the scooter from outside the house to park inside. He has banged his head on a wall with almost the skull open (with 10 stiches now) and broken his left arm which would have to be operated with 2 plates inserted,” he added.
The scooter was delivered to Maheshwari on January 15, 2022. He told ETAuto that he had experienced a similar problem on the second day of the delivery itself. However, since the scooter was new and the issue didn’t occur again, he did not pay much attention to it. Incidentally, the vehicle control unit (VCU) of the scooter had been fixed recently by the company, which should have corrected any of the inherent software glitches in the vehicle. Ola has been silently fixing VCU in their scooters primarily to address issues related to battery drainage in the vehicle.
For Maheshwari, the incident has left a sour taste. Regretting his decision of the choice of OEM, he said, “I was looking for an electric scooter, and since everyone is new in the space, Ola seemed to be the best option in the space because they have even acquired a Dutch company. What grabbed my attention about the company was also its looks, the company’s future factory and a unique all-women employees business model in the company.”
In 2020, Ola had announced the acquisition of Etergo BV, an electric scooter OEM, based out of Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Is Ola ready to take responsibility?
After his post on LinkedIn went viral, Maheshwari was contacted by an executive from the public relations team at Ola but there was no assurance of any help. “Though he wanted to keep himself updated about the hospital proceedings and the health of my father, he did not promise much,” Maheshwari told ETAuto.
ETAuto has also reached out to Ola and waiting for their response. Maheshwari demanded that the company recall the scooters to fix the bug as it has now happened on multiple occasions.
“I moved back to India last year to take care of my parents and was ecstatic about the India EV revolution. I was not a bit hesitant to book the scooter on the day of opening the booking as I wanted to support companies like you and didn’t think that #healthandsafety norms would be compromised to this level at your #futurefactory,” he added in the post. “Even after multiple reports of the reverse mode triggering in full throttle has been made multiple ola customers, no recall or fixes have been declared. I urge you to make sure no one else gets be harmed because of your faults.”
Ola has already been in much trouble for its e-scooters catching fire. Last month, the company had to announce a recall of its 1,441 S1 Pro scooters for diagnosis and health check against EV fires.
Not a first!
Maheshwari’s father is the second victim within a span of 30 days where a user has been at the receiving end of the accident due to Ola scooter’s breaking issue.
Earlier on April 15, the son of a Guwahati-based Ola user Balwant Singh also met with a similar accident. According to him, it happened “due to fault in regenerative breaking where on a speed breaker instead of slowing, the scooter accelerated sending so much torque…”
However, Ola said the accident was caused due to user negligence and not due to the scooter. The company publicly shared telemetry data to prove their point which landed them in fresh controversy of not respecting consumer’s right on data privacy.