The Onewheel recall of 2023 is getting an awfully bad rap. This is in response to the CPSC Onewheel notice that was issued last year regarding the safety of these self-balancing electric boards. While Onewheel riding can be dangerous, so can any board sport. In comparison to other board sports, the danger is statistically lower. So why the recall?
You would think it was due to a ghosting issue that was actually occurring on the GT boards however this all stems from riders overpowering the Onewheel, which is not the fault of the board. Onewheels are limited in the power you provide it, you can overpower them and nosedive. This recall does not stop nosediving. Instead, this provides “Haptic Buzz” which is a more auditory and tactile feeling the rider gets when approaching the limits of the board.
What Models Are Affected By the Voluntary Recall
- Onewheel GT
- Onewheel Pint X
- Onewheel Pint
- Onewheel XR
Onewheel Plus (+) and V1 (original) Onewheels are not impacted by this recall. Future Motion will provide a $100 credit towards a new Onewheel for these riders.
This is Not a Product Recall – It’s a Firmware Recall
The Onewheel recall does not repair the board or any of its components. This recall only implements added safety features.
Future Motion is not accepting returns on purchases in exchange for your full money back. Instead, they want to recall the firmware on the board and implement their improved firmware that offers haptic feedback known as “Haptic Buzz”.
This is a voluntary recall that will provide more safety on the Onewheel. The updated firmware will also allow GT Onewheel owners access to Custom Shaping 3.0 which is a huge step for Onewheel GT. V1 and Plus owners will get a $100 credit towards a new board.
The features given to the riders are honestly huge improvements. Many of the firmware additions (such as “Zone Engagement” and “Jump Re-engagement”) are features you could only get with modifying your sensor or purchasing a product like Sure Start.
Based on a poll among GT owners, 70% of the users were able to update their firmware without any issues. Some have had notices of corrupted firmware, but after several attempts they were able to successfully get the updated firmware. It does seem that the phone proximity to your Onewheel’s controller matters. Its crucial you follow the steps outlined by Future Motion to avoid any hiccups.
Do not get discouraged if you get an error. Try again following the guidance from the Onewheel Youtube video.
Six Tips For a Successful Onewheel GT Firmware Update
- Phone Proximity: Keep your smart phone resting on top of the front sensor (above the controller).
- Check Battery Level: Ensure your board has more than 50% charge if you’re planning to do the update without plugging it in. If it’s less than 50% charged, plug it in before proceeding.
- Sync Your Board: Sync your phone with your board. Once synced, you should receive a notification indicating a firmware update is available.
- Follow App Instructions: The app will guide you through the firmware update process. Simply follow the instructions displayed on your smartphone screen.
- Do Not Disconnect: While the update is in progress, leave your phone next to your board. Do not take your phone away, and especially, do not take it to the bathroom. Disconnecting your phone during the update process can corrupt the update.
- Wait for Completion: Allow the update to finish. Your board will automatically restart with the new firmware once the update is successfully completed.
Friends and Family Reminding You of the Recall
If you have friends or family that insist on telling you that Onewheels are not safe, kindly retort with a response that fewer incidents occur on Onewheels than any other board sport. The CPSC warning really addresses an unfair issue. Similar to an EUC or Segway, the Onewheel can be overpowered and “fail to balance the rider” however this is due to the limitations of the board and the law of physics.
If you are respecting the limits of the Onewheel, danger and accidents are minimized. If you pair this with properly wearing safety gear, you maximize safety when riding. Yes, board sports do pose an inherit danger however Onewheels are not just randomly dumping riders to the pavement by the masses. With this recall, Future motion is just amplifying a risk mitigation tool they already have on their Onewheels – pushback.
Pushback already alerts riders they have reached the limits to the board. With the new firmware, Haptic Buzz provides a tactile feel to the rider. This is essentially the only difference. The physical components remain the same.
Plus and V1 get $100
Because Future Motion does not have the ability to update the firmware on the Onewheel + (Plus), Original (V1), they are offering owners of these boards a $100. Credit. Again, Future Motion is not providing a replacement Onewheel for the recall. They only provide a credit for these models towards a GT or Pint line Onewheel.
If you are new to Onewheel, don’t let this discourage you or sway you away from the sport. Onewheels are not banned. Proper safety gear is paramount. This recall only modifies the firmware. Hardware is the same. Stay within the limits of the board is truly an amazing experience. I do recommend buying new if you are a new rider so that any issues that may arise on a used board wont affect you. Don’t be alarmed, just gear up and plan to meet up with local riders who can help you learn more about the board.