Motorized personal transport vehicles (EDPM), such as electric scooters, “hoverboards” or monowheels, are very popular with users in these times of health crisis, but you have to be vigilant when buying. This is what a report from the Directorate General for Competition, Consumer Affairs and Fraud Control (DGCCRF) reveals.
In 2020, the organization controlled 160 establishments. The first observations made on the EDPM samples (mainly electric scooters) reveal, as in 2019, compliance problems, whether it concerns mandatory markings on products or their technical documentation.
In January 2021, a new check resulted in the analysis of three samples. The products analyzed were all declared non-compliant and two are even dangerous due to a risk of electric shock.
It should be noted that the controls often result from complaints lodged by consumers or from product recalls. Many models are therefore likely to fall through the cracks.
Risk of electrocution or even fire
The dangers identified by the DGCCRF on this type of device concern the risk of electric shock or fire. In particular, the majority of controlled EDPMs were not sufficiently resistant to humidity, which can cause short circuits or even start a fire.
Normally, the required IPX4 degree of protection provides sufficient water resistance for use in the rain without risking the electrical system.
In addition, chargers can pose risks of electric shock due to too high a discharge voltage.
Finally, a malfunction in the vehicle’s control system can cause it to set in motion without a voluntary action by the user.
Classic scooters also present risks
Mechanical scooters are not spared, even if they are not subject to specific regulations and do not require “CE” marking like electric models. However, the DGCCRF has noted problems on some devices which range from anecdotal (absence of markings on the product and its packaging) to serious risk (trapping of fingers between the stem and the plate, involuntary unlocking of the folding mechanism which can result in a fall).
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Care should therefore be taken when purchasing motorized personal transport vehicles, especially if they are low-cost models which often come from unscrupulous Chinese manufacturers.
The presence of a “CE” mark is already a good sign, but do not hesitate to read the opinions of the customers and the possible tests. Finally, remember that users of this type of device must have liability insurance.