Ola has published a detailed blog on their website, putting up a spirited defence of their approach to engineering, testing and actions taken regarding the reported suspensions falures of some Ola S1 electric scooters.
Ola also published a video detailing the safety testing and engineering of the S1 Pro electric scooter.
Some salient points in the blog post are as follows:
- Ola Electric says that the scooter was already a world-class scooter that met stringent European standards, and when they brought it to India, it was put through extensive re-engineering and testing to ensure its suitability for India.
- Ola S1 Pro underwent testing for 40 Lakh kilometers with 736 scooters, making it one of the highest testing standards in India. The company also posted some videos showing the vehicle under very low and very high temperatures, as well as racing through pothole-ridden roads.
- Ola said in the blog post that there are 218 failures out of 2 lakh vehicles sold. Out of these, 184 are accident cases – and there are only 34 that are inconclusive or not accident-related.
- Safety margins for the suspension were already 75 % above what is normal for conventional twin-fork suspensions, and the changes Ola has now raised that safety margin to 250%!
- Ola believes that there is a “concerted campaign” against the company, and said that many of these images were said to be repeated from different angles and some were unrelated to the scooter.
- In the statement, Ola Electric suggested that the campaign was motivated by a desire to damage the company’s reputation as the leader in the Indian EV market. “It’s obvious who the leader in EVs is and who is threatened by us,” the statement read.
Ola said that the campaign caused anxiety among some Ola S1 customers, prompting the company to offer a free upgrade to the new design to all customers who felt uncomfortable with the original part. However, Ola Electric stressed that the failure rate of the original part was “really low” and that it had not breached any safety limits according to OEM standards.
Why this is not a recall: Ola explains
Explaining why the company had not issued a full recall, Ola Electric said that regulators in India only mandate a recall when the failure rate exceeds 10% of all vehicles sold. However, the actual failure rate is far, far below that according to the numbers given above.
“We will always keep our customer interests first and will never deter from any amount of sustained campaigning against us,” the statement concluded. “The EV revolution is truly on in India and it sure is making lots of people uncomfortable. Attacking Ola is not the way out. The more you attack us, the stronger India’s EV revolution will become!”
The blog post ended with a video of a rider stunting on the Ola S1 Pro scooter, without facing any problems at all. Despite a very tough track where the rider said he normally rides his Royal Enfield Himalayan, an attempting stoppies where the rear wheel rises in the air and all the weight and momentum of the scooter is stopped by the front wheel, the scooter did not face any issue at all.