The US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) really, really doesn’t want you using a Onewheel board. The government watchdog has warned Americans against buying or using any of the self-balancing skateboards, ranging from the original through to newer models like the GT and Pint X. The vehicles can forcefully eject riders, the CPSC said. The Commission added that here have been reports of “at least” four deaths and multiple serious injuries between 2019 and 2021 after the boards either stopped balancing properly or came to an abrupt stop.
Onewheel creator Future Motion has refused a recall and rejected the CPSC’s stance. The company believes the Commission’s warning is “unjustified and alarmist,” and that its boards are safe if they’re used responsibly with appropriate safety equipment. Board owners are “adults” who know that there’s always a risk to any board sport or even riding a bike, Future Motion argued. To that end, it noted that the CPSC itself prized safety education over warnings when snowboarding took off in the 1990s.
The firm said it had studied boards affected by sudden stops, and hadn’t found any inherent technical problems. Onewheels have lower serious injury rates than bikes, ATVs and motorcycles, Future Motion claimed. It also accused the CPSC of preferring a “sensational” alert over cooperating on safety improvements.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that the CPSC has found itself at odds with a tech company over safety. Peloton balked at a potential recall for its Tread+ treadmill after reports of injuries to children. However, the Onewheel action may be more serious than usual. The Commission is warning against using Future Motion’s entire product line, and says it’s still pursuing a recall — the company has no fallbacks if sales take a hit.