Shortly after a video showing an Ather 450X electric scooter damaged by fire surfaced online, the electric scooter start-up released a statement explaining what was the cause.
The company’s statement states that one of the connectors to the motor controller was incorrectly torqued resulting in sparking around the controller terminals. While this happened, the on-board safety systems kicked in and halted power flow, but by then, the wiring harness had already caught fire.
Ather claims that despite this, the dash, the battery and the BMS remained unaffected and the company stresses that this wasn’t a thermal runaway event as seen in other instances.
The Bengaluru-based start-up has further added that it was a "rare human error" and that it has incorporated upgraded manufacturing processes as well as equipment, and introduced a two-step verification process to prevent such occurrences in the future.
Despite this transparency, a couple of questions remain. For starters, did other scooters come out like this before the updated manufacturing operations, equipment and two-step verification? And, more importantly, will there be a recall? We have reached out to the company regarding these questions and will update this story as we receive more information.
Ather Energy has been one of the more transparent start-ups in the e-scooter space, and to the company’s credit, our long-term 450X e-scooter has run glitch-free throughout its nearly year-long tenure with us. The Ather 450 Plus and 450X are among the first electric scooters to be fully designed, developed and made in India.