Brompton folding electric bikes recalled over risky software bug

Brittany A. Roston - Apr 22, 2021, 2:23pm CDT
Brompton folding electric bikes recalled over risky software bug

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a new recall involving Brompton Bicycle’s electric folding bicycles over a software bug. Though Brompton is a UK manufacturer, the CPSC notes that a number of these electric bikes were sold in the US at the company’s store in New York, as well as through authorized dealers in other states.

Brompton’s folding e-bike is exactly what it sounds like: a bicycle that can be folded when not in use, one that features an electric motor powering a pedal-assist feature. The pedal assist functionality is controlled by software and designed to engage when the user is actively pedaling the bike, reducing the effort needed to get around.

According to a new recall notice from the US CPSC, around 600 Brompton folding electric bicycles have been recalled in the US due to a “software malfunction.” The bug, it seems, may result in the motor providing pedal assistance even when the user has stopped pedaling, meaning the bike may continue to propel itself forward when the rider anticipates it will slow down.

This, the recall advisory notes, may result in the user falling off the bicycle or suffering an injury. The recall was announced on April 21 with repair as the listed remedy for the problem. Brompton says that its folding e-bike customers should stop using the product until they’re able to contact their nearest authorized dealer to get the software update.

The update will fix the bug, after which point the issue should disappear and users can safely resume riding the e-bikes. The company says that while it has received a single report of one of these bikes continuing to provide pedal assist after the rider stopped pedaling, there haven’t been any reports of related injuries.


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