Days after Ola Electric issued a voluntary recall to their Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro electric scooters over the front suspension quality issue, the CEO of the company, Bhavish Aggarwal, in a detailed blog, has revealed the reasons behind the recall and also talked about the engineering behind the electric scooters. He also lashed out on various media reports and social media posts insinuating Ola Electric to deliberately ignore the front suspension breakage issue. In a Twitter post, Bhavish wrote, “Too much myth building and mud slinging happening on us last few days. Today we’re publishing a technical blog to share our engineering facts, and break the fake and agenda driven narrative.”
What’s the issue?
Ever since the first Ola electric scooter was launched in the Indian market, reports of problems with the EV have become a constant on social media handles. Multiple issues have been reported with the Ola scooters in the past, including faulty operating system, scooter going in reverse among others. But the one problem that has raised the maximum eyebrows and forced the CEO to write a detailed blog has to do with a fault in the front suspension of the EV.
As per various Ola users, the front shocker of the EV broke, resulting in serious injuries in many cases. Many users took on to social media to report the incident. Later, some media reports blamed Ola Electric for deliberately ignoring this serious issue. In fact, as per Bhavish’s blog, 218 failures have been reported till date in 1.5 years, of which, 184 are accident cases and 34 are inconclusive or not accident linked.
Too much myth building and mud slinging happening on us last few days.
Today we’re publishing a technical blog to share our engineering facts, and break the fake and agenda driven narrative.
Do read here: https://t.co/czgHzJwcwh pic.twitter.com/eSinIYmhKJ
— Bhavish Aggarwal (@bhash) March 17, 2023
Bhavish Agarwal’s clarification
Bhavish Aggarwal, founder and CEO of Ola Cabs and Ola Electric, in a detailed blog post, clarified on the matter. He wrote, When we launched our products about 1.5 years ago, India’s 2W industry changed. This reality has been hard for our detractors to live with and there’s been a non stop effort for the last 1.5 years to throw mud at us in one form or another.”
He further wrote that he will dispel many myths and bust many fake narratives in this blog and will address the following points: 1) The Engineering behind the Ola S1, including safety and testing we have undergone 2) Deep dive into the specific front fork issue – the data, engineering, the misleading campaign and our continuous engineering improvement activities and 3) What process Ola followed for an upgrade. Also, what is a recall, when do automakers do it, and what process is followed.
Bhavish deep dives into the history of Ola Electric and how they sourced the Scooter from European company called Etergo, after acquiring the brand. He also detailed the engineering process behind the India’s first tech-oriented homegrown electric scooter. He explains about the fork issue and said only 34 inconclusive issues have been found out of 2,00,000 scooters old till, which is 0.015% and 34 in 700 Million kms is 1 in 20 Million kms.
Ola issues recall
Recently, Ola issued a recall of the Ola S1 and Ola S1 Pro electric scooters, offering free of cost replacement to the front suspension. The move, again, was criticized from social media users, with some pointing out the manner in which the EVs were recalled. Many said Ola should have straight away called it a ‘Recall’ and not sugarcoat the whole matter. To this, Bhavish said, typically to order a recall, regulators mandate a ceiling of failures beyond which automakers have to issue a recall.
In Ola’s case, the failure rate is really low and hence no recall was issued. He said Ola “decided to allow all our customers to use the upgraded version if they feel more comfortable with that. The original part has not breached any safety limits by any OEM standards.”