Ola Electric outlines changes with new front suspension. Presses, not a recall
Ola Electric has published a detailed blog explaining what’s changed with the new front suspension, after its recent announcement to replace the front fork for existing customers. The move was made amidst growing concerns about accidents and crashes that have been making the news over the past year. However, the company insists it’s not a “recall" even if its decision to offer the upgraded front suspension seems to be similar to one.
In its blog, Ola Electric said that the company is facing a “concerted campaign by publishing images of the front fork broken." The company said that it had 218 failures reported out of over 200,000 vehicles sold so far that have cumulatively covered over 700 million kilometres. The company further expanded that out of these 218 cases, 184 were accidents, while 34 are inconclusive. This makes up for a failure rate of 0.015 per cent or 34 out of 200,000 vehicles. Do note that these numbers have been shared by the company and HT Auto has not independently verified the same.
What’s new with the Ola S1 front suspension?
Ola Electric says that the images being circulated on social media impacted some of its customers. That’s why the company decided to offer the upgraded front suspension free of cost. With the new front fork, the manufacturer says it re-engineered the unit in August 2022 after seeing the first inconclusive case in May last year. The unit went completed the tooling, testing and validation process by December and it was in production by January 2023.
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The company says that the original part by design had a 75 per cent safety margin when compared to the conventional twin fork suspension, whereas the new design has a margin of 250 per cent.
Ola also iterated that while it acquired Amsterdam-based Etergo, which formed the basis of the S1 electric scooter, the model was fully re-engineered to be best suited for India. The manufacturer also said that the vehicle has been tested at three levels - digital simulations, component tests and vehicular lab tests, and vehicular field tests.
On why it’s not a recall
Furthermore, Ola Electric insists that the front fork replacement is optional and free of charge but does not qualify as a recall. Explaining the same in its blog, the company says, “Typically to order a recall, regulators mandate a ceiling of failures beyond which automakers are mandated to recall. In India that is 10 per cent of all vehicles sold."
“In our case, the failure rate is really low. No OEM at these failure levels will immediately call for a full recall. We would normally study the part for a longer lifespan and maybe decide after a few more months to see if the failure rate is rising and beyond an acceptable threshold," the blog reads.
However, the company says it has “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."