Incidents involving e-bikes have even gotten the government's attention, which has warned of heavy penalties if the manufacturer is found defaulting on the quality of electric two-wheelers in India. Ola Electric, which got a warm reception from Indian consumers initially, was marred with various complaints since deliveries started in December 2021. One such complaint has now gotten the attention of the masses after an alleged technical malfunction in the Ola S1 Pro left a man with fractures and stitches.
In a series of tweets, one of the Ola Electric customers has levelled serious allegations against the company about a faulty scooter that severely injured his son. The incident reportedly took place on March 26 but has now taken the internet by storm after new developments.
The Ola Electric customer shared the entire ordeal in tweets along with photos of his son in bandages, stitches and fractures. Balwant Singh wrote on Twitter that his son now has fractures in his left hand and 16 stitches in his right hand due to a technical fault in the Ola S1 Pro. He claims his son was trying to slow down the e-bike on a speed breaker when it suddenly accelerated, causing the bike to go airborne and crash.
On Twitter, Singh alleged that his son had to undergo surgery to save his left hand from permanent disability. International Business Times reached out to Singh to further verify the claims and reviewed the medical reports sent by the victim Reetam Singh (the son).
The medical reports shared by Singh show the victim underwent "left hand open relocation of the lunate and stabilisation and scaphoid ORIF with HCS on March 31, 2022" in Mumbai's Laud Clinic. He had been shifted from Guwahati's Health City Hospital to Mumbai for treatment. Singh claimed his son had 5 wires and a plate inserted in his left hand.
@bhash @OlaElectric I had purchased new Ola S1 Pro. On 26th March 2022 my son had an accident due to fault in regenerative breaking where on speed breaker instead of slowing, the scooter accelerated sending so much torque that he had an accident (1/n) pic.twitter.com/ghVXSwqJ3T— BALWANT SINGH (@BALWANT1962) April 15, 2022
Ola Electric responds; customer left red-faced
The original thread detailing the incident was shared on April 15, but in a fresh tweet, Singh claimed that he hadn't received an investigation report along with data sets from the day when the accident took place. Ola Electric refuted the claims made by Singh and said that there was no issue found with the e-scooter.
"Wishing your son a very quick recovery. And further to our discussion over call your scooter will be delivered to you today. After thorough investigation, as confirmed on call there is no issue with the scooter and we advice you to please ride safely," the company said in response to the tweet.
In response to the company's statement, Singh wrote: "If it was a fault on ours, why did Ola agree to undertake free repairs keeping scooter for 10 days in Workshop? Why didn't Ola provide any invoice for repairs returning via Agent taking a simple pic without papers? Isn't that acceptance of guilt?"
Singh has since shared several instances on Twitter, where Ola S1 Pro customers have complained about various faults in the scooter, including ones with braking, performance and acceleration.
Ola conducts probe; shares findings
After facing severe backlash, Ola Electric publicly shared its findings after its probe of the Guwahati accident. It said the accident was caused due to "overspeeding." Ola Electric claimed that the rider applied three brakes, front, rear and regenerative, at once in "panic" and lost control of the vehicle. As a result of applying three brakes at once, the speed of the scooter went from 80 kmph to 0 kmph in 3 seconds, it said based on its findings.
The company denied any faults with the scooter. To back its claim, Ola Electric released data from the time when the accident happened along with previous sessions to establish the riding pattern.
"Road safety is of paramount importance to us. We strongly recommend everyone to ride responsibly, adhere to speed limits and ensure your're wearing a helmet," Ola said.
Victim rebutted Ola's justification
Ola Electric's statement, along with data to back its claim, did not convince the rider. Reetam pointed out some discrepancies and accused Ola of "character assassination."
"Spike in section 3 proves my case. I didn't apply the brakes at the point they claim. It was before that. If I was a reckless driver, I would have had accident before. You can clearly see the difference in sections. Ola is trying to character assassinate me as a reckless driver," he was quoted as saying.
Dear @OlaElectric , glad you came out with report albeit sharing this publicly violates data confidentiality of customer. Nevermind, you claim my son was riding fast but never had accident in that fast phase. The phase of accident, he was driving normal. Spike proves case ? https://t.co/koM5LEsX2H— BALWANT SINGH (@BALWANT1962) April 22, 2022
The victim and his family are demanding Ola Electric pay for the medical expenses, which they claim were entirely due to the fault in the scooter. No insurance was claimed for the medical expenses, IBTimes has learned.