Future Motion Refuses to Recall Self-Balancing Skateboards After Four Deaths

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has urged consumers to stop using Future Motion’s Onewheel self-balancing electric skateboard. The commission says that riders can be ejected from the e-skateboards, resulting in death from head trauma and other injuries. At least four deaths have been reported between 2019 and 2021, the CPSC wrote in a statement Wednesday.

Other injuries, like traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper-body fractures, lower-body fractures and ligament damage have been reported. Future Motion refused to agree to “an acceptable recall” of its Onewheel products, the CPSC said. They include the Onewheel, Onewheel Plus, Onewheel Plus XR, Onewheel Pint, Onewheel Pint X and Onewheel GT.   

In response to the CPSC’s warning, Future Motion said in a press release that the e-skateboards are safe when the rider follows “common-sense safe riding practices that are common to any board sport.” It said in the release that it disagrees with the CPSC’s conclusions. 

“Future Motion has evaluated a number of boards that the rider claims suddenly stopped, and in no case have we found any underlying technical issue with the board,” the company said. “All of these boards performed as designed and were test ridden for many miles without any performance issues.”

Onewheels function by having the rider balance on a board with a single wheel in its center. As a rider leans forward, the e-skateboard picks up speed. Some boards can go as fast as 16 to 19 miles per hour, according to Onewheel’s Frequently Asked Questions page. Consumers reported that the e-skateboard failed to balance the rider or abruptly stopped while in motion, the CPSC said. 

Future Motion didn’t immediately respond to a request for further comment.