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Lime recalls electric scooters over battery fire concerns

Manufacturing defect discovered in some scooters could result in smoldering or fire, company warns.

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A Lime scooter on the streets of San Francisco.

James Martin/CNET

Lime, a company that has placed thousands of electric scooters on US streets, has recalled some of its scooters after discovering they could contain batteries with the potential to catch fire.

The company said in a statement Tuesday that it learned in August of a potential issue with some of the batteries in its Ninebot model scooters.

"The issue arose in one of the two batteries housed on early versions of the scooter; in several isolated instances, a manufacturing defect could result in the battery smoldering or, in some cases, catching fire," the company said.

The statement was issued after the Washington Post contacted the company about reports of Lime's scooters catching fire. Lime declined a request for further information, but the San Francisco-based company told the Post about 2,000 scooters were recalled.

Lime's statement said about 0.01 percent of its fleet of scooters were quickly recalled, primarily in the Los Angeles, San Diego and Lake Tahoe areas, mostly out of an abundance of caution.

"At no time were riders or members of the public put at risk," the company said.

Despite the recall, Lime said it's investigating an unconfirmed report it recently received that another scooter model it uses "may also be vulnerable to battery failure."

Scooters have become a controversial topic as they take over more and more cities across the US. As regulators hurry to write laws around the new form of transportation, lots of people say they love being able to scoot block-to-block around congested cities. Other residents complain that riders don't follow the laws of the road and endanger pedestrians by riding on sidewalks and leaving the scooters wherever they feel like it -- blocking parking spots, bike racks and wheelchair accesses.

Lime is now in more than 70 cities across the US and Europe and has given 6 million rides through its network of electric scooters, electric bicycles and pedal bikes.

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