NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
About 246,000 electric scooters made by Razor USA and 34,000 battery-powered scooters and mini bikes made by Fisher-Price have been recalled due to safety concerns, the government said Tuesday.
In addition to announcing the recall, the Consumer Product Safety Commission released a study showing that of the 10,000 emergency room injuries involving powered scooters reported from July 2003 to June 2004, just four in 10 of the victims wore helmets.
The CPSC said Razor recalled scooter models E300, E300S, E200 and E200S, all powered by battery-run motors, because the handlebars can accidentally detach from the scooter, causing the rider to lose control and fall.
Consumers should stop using the scooters immediately and contact Razor to arrange a free repair, which also includes a new battery charger to address a risk of overheating, which was the subject of a separate recall.
The commission said it has received 261 reports of handlebar welds breaking or bending, resulting in 16 reported injuries, including three broken arms and one laceration.
The scooters were sold at discount department, auto parts and toy stores from October 2003 through May 2005 for between $180 and $250.
In addition, 584,000 PowMax battery chargers sold with some of Razor's battery-powered vehicles were also recalled after the agency received 144 reports of overheating.
The vehicles sold with the recalled chargers include Razor electric scooter Models E100, E125, E300, E300S, E200, and E200S, Razor Pocket Rocket mini electric motorcycles, Razor Ground Force electric go karts, and Razor Chopper mini electric motorcycles.
Fisher-Price products affected
The CPSC also said Fisher-Price Lightning PAC Scooter model 73530 and MX3 Mini Bike model 73535 were recalled because overinflated tires could rupture or break the plastic rim within the wheel.
The commission has received six reports of injuries on the scooter and one on the bike, which were sold at discount department and toy stores from November 2001 through April 2003 for about $200 to $250. Both toys were also recalled in 2003 due to faulty motor control circuits.
If the scooters or mini bikes have a warning label near the inflation valves that reads "Never inflate above 30 psi," they are not subject to recall, teh agency said.
Consumers should contact Fisher-Price to receive new warning labels and a free tire gauge for help inflating the tires. To prevent over-inflation, Fisher-Price recommends using a manual pump to inflate the tires.
In its report on motor scooter injuries, the agency found that about two-thirds of all injuries occurred in children under 15.
"The good news is that parents can help significantly reduce deaths and injuries to children by taking simple safety precautions such as making sure their kids wear helmets, ride only on smooth surfaces and avoid riding at night," CPSC Chairman Hal Stratton said in a statement.
The agency did the study to get a more accurate picture of injuries as powered scooters have risen in popularity. The CPSC has received reports of 49 deaths attributed to powered scooters from October 1998 through November 2004. Twenty nine of the deaths were the result of an accident with a motor vehicle.
The CPSC also found that 36 percent of scooter incidents were the caused by users accelerating too quickly or braking too abruptly, or loading two people onto a scooter. Also, 35 percent of injuries could be chalked up to environmental factors like bumps and potholes in the road, curbs and gravel, it said.