Bird, Lyft and Skip glitch lets scooters exceed 20 mph, report says

Most cities don't allow e-scooters to go more than 15 miles per hour.

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A glitch is reportedly allowing e-scooters to push past speed limits. 

James Martin

A glitch in an e-scooter model used by companies including Lyft and Bird is reportedly causing it to exceed local speed limits, according to a Friday report. 

The Ninebot KickScooter, which is manufactured by Segway, went up to 21 miles per hour in a test conducted by Consumer Reports. The issue was raised earlier in a post on the forum ScooterTalk. Most cities have rules that restrict scooters from going more than 15 miles per hour. 

Several scooters from Bird, Lyft and Skip that were rented in Washington, DC, achieved those speeds, according to the report. Activating the glitch "involves taking a few steps with the rear brake and the throttle," Consumer Reports says. The glitch reportedly didn't happen on Ninebot KickScooters from Spin, which is owned by Ford, and Jump, which is owned by Uber. 

"Safety is fundamental to Lyft and our team is investigating this report," a Lyft representative said.

Skip said it's actively investigating the issue, and that its team is always working to maintain high safety standards for its customers.

"At this time, we are not seeing a fleet-wide issue as it pertains to acceleration," a Skip representative said in an emailed statement late Friday. "We encourage riders experiencing acceleration issues to contact our support team."

Bird didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Electric scooters, which in the last year or so have become available in nearly 100 US cities, are responsible for as many as 1,000 accidents per month. Riders have ended up in the emergency room after discovering their brakes didn't work or speeding into oncoming traffic. Some have been killed in e-scooter accidents, and hospitals around the country report daily injuries, some of which are life-threatening or leave people permanently disabled. 

First published at 3:09 p.m. PT on June 7.  
Updated at 4:45 p.m. PT: Adds comment from Skip.
Updated June 10 at 9:39 a.m. PT: Adds link to ScooterTalk forum.

Watch this: Electric scooters are sending scores of people to the hospital