Ola Electric has announced a voluntary recall of a specific batch of 1,441 S1 Pro e-scooters, in the wake of a fire incident in one of its electric vehicles in Pune last month.
“As a pre-emptive measure, we will be conducting a detailed diagnostics and health check of the scooters in that specific batch and therefore are issuing a voluntary recall of 1,441 vehicles,” Ola said in a statement issued late on April 23.
The electric vehicle (EV) maker further asserted that the battery pack already complied with and was tested for AIS 156, the latest proposed standard for India. Besides, the battery pack was also compliant with the European Standard ECE 136, it contended in the statement.
Referring to the Pune vehicle fire incident of March 26, Ola said while an internal investigation was still ongoing, a preliminary assessment revealed “that the thermal incident was likely an isolated one”.
Earlier on April 23, Ola Electric founder & CEO Bhavish Aggarwal told visiting journalists at the company’s plant near Krishnagiri that the company had commissioned ‘world class agencies’ to establish the root cause of the March 26 fire incident in Pune.
“We are doing an in-depth report, it will take a few weeks,” said Mr. Aggarwal. “We will share that with everyone. Our intent, Government’s intent and industry’s intent are to make sure consumer confidence on electrification remains high,” he added.
Electric scooter makers in the country are facing a backlash following a spate of recent fire incidents, including a couple of fatal ones, involving Ola Electric, Pure EV and Okinawa Scooters. The incidents prompted the Union Minister of Road Transport Nitin Gadkari to issue a warning to EV makers that they needed to undertake voluntary recalls wherever required or risk both mandatory recalls and stringent penalties.
Pure EV and Okinawa Scooters had already announced the recall of some batches of their vehicles and it was Ola’s turn on April 23 to make a voluntary recall.
Asserting that the objective of a recall was to fix the root cause, Mr. Aggarwal said, “For us safety is first and quality comes next. This will be vouched for by all the 1,800 women employees here.”
The Ola CEO detailed to the visiting journalists the various safety processes and multiple checks that were in place at the plant, and asserted that the assembly line would not move ‘even if a single part had not been installed or checked properly’.