Pedego Recalls 5000 ebike Batteries

July 5, 2015

Pedego Electric Bikes is voluntarily recalling the batteries from every e-bike it produced between January 2010 and September 2013.

Pedego launched the recall, which involves approximately 5,000 batteries, around the beginning of the year after receiving two complaints from customers whose batteries overheated and melted while charging, said Terry Sherry, the company’s co-founder and CFO.

“The first time it’s like, what the heck just happened?’ Sherry said. “After the second time, you start asking questions and doing the research.”

He said the battery issue stemmed from an apparent manufacturing problem. A film corrodes inside the battery cell that serves as a barrier between the anode and cathode, allowing the battery to short and overheat.

“The challenge we have is that we have no way of knowing how many cells have that potential problem. We know it was a small group but we don’t know which cells they were,” Sherry said. He declined to name the manufacturer, which is based in China.

In September 2013, Pedego decided to begin sourcing all e-bike batteries from Samsung. Pedego has advertised the recall through its website and Facebook page, and through its retailers. It also operates a website,, where consumers can see if their battery is covered by the recall.

The company also has attempted to contact all affected consumers directly.

“We’ve sent out emails to everybody that we possibly have emails for, or sending out letters to all those that we don’t have emails for,” Sherry said. “We’re very concerned about our customers and their safety and that’s paramount to us,” he added.

“We made the tough — and costly, I might add — decision to recall 5,000 batteries.”

The battery manufacturer is covering some of the costs of the recall, but Sherry said Pedego still expects to take a significant financial hit.

Shipping is a big expense. Because batteries are considered hazardous materials, Sherry said Pedego pays a surcharge of $35 to $40 for every battery it ships to a consumer.

“Instead of $20 a battery, it ends up costing me $55 or $60 a battery,” he said. “When you’re shipping out a thousand of them, two thousand of them, it starts to add up.”

Sherry said Pedego assumes consumers have already replaced between 1,500 and 2,000 of the affected batteries through attrition. “As they get older they start losing their energy and they have to be replaced anyway, just like any battery,” he said.

He said Pedego customers have responded positively to the recall, and to the company’s efforts to replace affected batteries for free. “It’s starting to pay back in spades because our customers are our biggest fans,” he said. “When do you stuff like this, it just reinforces the reasoning why they should recommend you to their families and friends.”

Eric has been involved in the electric bike industry since 2002 when he started a 6000 square foot brick and mortar Electric Bike store in downtown San Francisco. He is a true believer that small electric vehicles can change the way we operate and the way we think.


  1. This incident makes one wonder what are the quality controls that a Pedigo bike
    undergoes before it leaves the factory.
    All part suppliers will occasionally send a defective part.
    As consumers we are betting our bodies that Pedigo engineers find them BEFORE they leave the factory.

    • I’m not a huge Pedego fan or anything, but in this case, there’s not really any way they could have known about the problem before it occurred. A defect in membrane material INSIDE of the individual battery cells can take months or years to reveal itself. To check each cell, you’d literally have to destroy it to access the interior of the cell. At a certain point, you just have to trust that your cell manufacturer is using quality parts. That’s likely why they switched to a reputable cell manufacturer (Samsung) in 2013 – so they could trust what’s going into their cells.

  2. A very expensive problem indeed..! But there is no one exempt from battery failure, it is something that is going to continue till battery manufacturers learn how to overcome the problem buy means of reinventing battery’s with chemical compounds that do not react violently when being recharged… A problem which has plagued the industry since it’s inception……

    • I guess the lure of using cheap Chinese cells as opposed to Japanese cells outweighed the 300,000$$ shipping costs they will endure let alone the cost of replacement.

  3. And I am still confused by electric battery systems, and my children make fun of me… I am not to hip on all this but I do know a thing or two about chemical batteries and how they are made but after that I’m still in the dark as to all the other things I need to know about electric motor bikes.. I still use gas, but I want to know more about them, and make the move to clean energy…! So If any one can help, I am all ears….!

    • The best thing you ca do Zach is to ride a Pedego regardless of the battery replacement the company endured. I have nothing but praise for Don and Terry CEO’s for how they and their terrific staff handled the concern professionally and in a timely manner. No matter what new bikes appear on the market I will only ride my Pedego step thru “Interceptor” – of course my second Pedego will be a “Commuter”. After two hip and knee replacement life is “Fun” again!
      Len Hambleton-Raleigh NC

      • Oh I’m sure that you are correct with your assessment of Pedego, But that is not what I meant.. I already have my eye on a Fat Cat Quad 4 from Utah Trikes, and it is something that I had made a long hard judgment call on a while back because of my own personal reasons and problems.. I’m disabled and I can not ride a 2 wheeler any more, and because of that I am buying the F C Q 4, it is that I am looking to motorize so when I get tired and can not peddle any more, or need to get out of harms way, I can depend on a electric motor to come to my aid… So if you hear of a cheaper way, or a way to better power the motor, as I said before I am all ears….! But thank you for caring enough to share your comment with me.. And Don and Terry should be honored to have a friend as good as you who cares about them and their product line… So Thanks Again….!

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