Future Motion, the maker of the Onewheel electric skateboard, is recalling every one of them, including 300,000 Onewheel self-balancing vehicles in the US. Alongside the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the company now seeks to remedy the products after four known death cases — three without a helmet — between 2019 and 2021.
The recall comes a year after Future Motion took issue with the CPSC’s calls for recall and claimed that it tested and found nothing wrong with the Onewheels. At the time, the company issued a press release in objection to the CPSC and called the agency’s statements “unjustified and alarmist.”
Now Future Motion is moving forward with a voluntary recall it chose not to do almost a year earlier. The company is asking owners to stop using their Onewheels until they take appropriate action. For the newer Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, and Onewheel Plus XR, a software update with a new warning system is the remedy.
For early adopters, however, the CPSC and Future Motion are telling owners to stop using and discard the original Onewheel and Onewheel Plus. We asked Onewheel chief evangelist Jack Mudd in an email how many of the original units are affected, but Mudd refused to answer. Mudd also wouldn’t tell us why the company claimed there were no issues and publicly resisted issuing a recall back in 2022.
Mudd did say that the software update for the other models is rolling out worldwide, not just in the US.
Some crashes occurred due to Onewheel skateboards malfunctioning after being pushed to certain limits. The Onewheel GT, Onewheel Pint X, Onewheel Pint, and Onewheel Plus XR will receive a firmware update that will add a new warning “Haptic Buzz” feedback that riders can feel and hear when the vehicle enters an error state, is low on battery, or is nearing its limits and needs to slow down.
“This update is the culmination of months of work with the CPSC,” reads the company’s recall website. Last November, it called the CPSC’s warning about Onewheels “misleading” but stated it would “work to enhance the CPSC’s understanding of self-balancing vehicle technology and seek to collaborate with the agency to enhance rider safety.”
To install the update, owners must connect their Onewheels to the accompanying app and run a firmware update — the process is fully explained in a new video.
For early adopters, however, owners can receive a “pro-rated credit of $100 to the purchase of a new board,” according to Mudd. The credit will only be issued after owners confirm that they have disposed of the old model.
Alongside Future Motion’s blink on the decision to recall Onewheel, the company shared a new video on YouTube highlighting the new Haptic Buzz feature as well as best practices when riding. “We’ve been working closely with the CPSC for over a year in order to develop this new safety feature,” Mudd says in the video. He adds that ignoring pushback or Haptic Buzz “can result in serious injury or death.” It took engineers a while to whip up Haptic Buzz; perhaps it’s something that would not have been ready in a timely fashion after CPSC’s first whistle last year.