FRNSW & Fair Trading investigation identifies 40 faulty e-scooters sold in online auction

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has helped prevent dozens of potential fires and serious injuries by quickly following up on an electric scooter blaze on Sydney’s Northern Beaches.

A North Narrabeen father and son left their e-scooter to charge as they went to bed on Tuesday night, waking a short time later to find the device had ignited in their living room.

The quick-thinking pair moved the e-scooter to their front yard, and doused the floor, before calling in FRNSW who extinguished the blaze.

Investigations revealed the owners of the e-scooter had purchased it from an online auction house at a discounted price because the device had previously sustained water damage.

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FRNSW’s Fire Investigation and Research Unit immediately engaged Fair Trading NSW, which identified another 40 people had purchased water-damaged e-scooters from the same company.

The auction house cooperated with both government agencies, contacting the owners of the damaged e-scooters, alerting them to the safety risks, and offering full refunds, despite their limited returns policy.

FRNSW Assistant Commissioner Trent Curtin said cooperation between fire investigators and Fair Trading NSW has produced a positive community safety outcome.

“These damaged e-scooters were effectively ticking time-bombs, ready to explode into flames inside family homes across New South Wales,” said Asst Commissioner Curtin.

“Our investigation and follow-up work has helped prevent possible further incidents.

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“This case should serve as a reminder about the dangers posed by lithium-ion battery devices, especially when they’re damaged by water or other means.”

FRNSW reminds people to only purchase e-bikes and e-scooters from reputable brands and proven retailers, always buy equipment that meets Australian Standards, and always use and charge in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification.