Ola Electric has issued what is essentially a recall (without explicitly saying so) for their S1 electric scooter.
The company has been mired in controversy due to multiple reports of its front suspension breaking and causing accidents.
One such incident was reported on Twitter back in January this year where a rider met with an accident after the front suspension broke.
The victim was going at a speed of just 35 kmph when the front wheel of the scooter broke out of the suspension.
The crash resulted in severe injuries to the rider, who had to be admitted to an ICU.
The company contacted the affected party and the tweet was later deleted.
Ola Electric has stated that a preliminary investigation into the incident revealed that this was a “case of a very high-impact road accident.”
Not coincidence, just “isolated” incidents
Ola has been facing quality issues since it started delivering its scooters in December 2021.
The company had announced a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles in April last year following a fire incident the previous month.
Ola has also had to issue statements over several accidents, including due to breaking of the front fork arm in the past.
It always maintained that these were isolated incidents.
Concerns are “unfounded”, however still offering upgrade
In an official statement, the company said that recently, there have been some concerns amongst the community around the safety of the front fork arm of the Ola S1.
We assure you that this is unfounded, it added.
“To alleviate any concerns that you or any of our community members might have, we are giving an option to our customers to upgrade to the new front fork,” the Bengaluru-based firm said in a statement.
The company said this is part of its “continuous engineering and design improvement process” and that it has upgraded the front fork design to “enhance the durability and strength”.
Peculiar choice of words
It is not calling it a recall, but that is exactly what this is, as per multiple industry executives.
An automotive analyst explained, “If a low-quality part is being replaced free of cost as a precautionary measure by the OEM, in all practical purposes it is a recall, but for it to be technically qualified as a recall, it may need to be intimated to the government.”
The effectiveness of the upgrade will only be visible if we hear no more incidents involving a broken fork.
It said that customers who would like to upgrade their scooter with the new front fork can book an appointment starting March 22.
Those interested can book an appointment at the nearest Ola Experience Centre or “specific” Service Centres.
While the replacement will be free of cost and the appointment window will open starting March 22, the company will reach out to the customers with a detailed process for booking the appointment.
After booking the appointment the customer has to provide their location through the Ola Electric app which will then show the nearby service centers to visit for the repair.
The Ola S1 range of electric scooters has six variants. Below are the prices (with FAME II subsidy).
- Ola S1 Pro – 4kWh battery – 181km range – Rs 1.31 lakh
- Ola S1 – 2kWh battery – 91km range – Rs 1 lakh
- Ola S1 – 3kWh battery – 141km range – Rs 1.10 lakh
- Ola S1 Air – 2kWh battery – 85km range – Rs 85,000
- Ola S1 Air – 3kWh battery – 125km range – Rs 1 lakh
- Ola S1 Air – 4kWh battery – 165km range – Rs 1.10 lakh