When I worked for Bell Helmets during the 80’s, one of the Company’s largest concerns was product liability. It wasn’t because Bell was making a sub-par product. Quite the contrary.
Bell was rightfully respected as the finest helmet company in the world. The testing lab was amazing and the quality control second to none. There were racers sponsored by other helmet companies who would buy Bell helmets, remove the stickers and replace them with their sponsor’s sticker (I am not making this stuff up and saw it first hand). But that didn’t stop attorneys from naming Bell in product-liability lawsuits for clients who had been injuried or killed in an accident. While common sense tells you that a helmet cannot protect the wearer in all circumstances, a jury can sure feel sorry for a guy in a wheelchair or worse, family members who have lost a loved one.
All this rambling brings me to the Stator electric-motorized scooter. This $4000 scooter is claimed to have a top speed of 30 miles per hour. Bell Helmets made a protective product and still worried about product liability. Stator is offering a product that, in my opinion, is potentially dangerous and they don’t seem to have any liability concerns whatsoever.
Their website brags that the scooter is a “new concept in micromobility” and the operator can “completely tune in to the ride and the surroundings, not the machine underneath.” There is nothing advising potential buyers on the inherent risk of riding a scooter at 30-miles-per hour, recommending a minimum operator’s age, suggesting protective clothing or suggesting that there might be unique skills necessary to operate their scooter safely.
I would test a Stator. I think I have the skills. Even at my advanced age I can still sort of ride a skateboard and I cycle every week. But I wouldn’t get on this thing without a helmet, gloves and even a leather motorcycle road-race suit. And you shouldn’t either. Bell Helmets is still around. After a few lawsuits, Stator probably won’t be. Buyers beware.