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Ford GoBike yanks electric bikes after reports of brake issues

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Ford GoBike, which operates an electric bicycle share system, announced Sunday it’s pulling thousands of electric bikes from Bay Area streets after riders have reported problems with their brakes.

Although only a small number of riders have reported experiencing stronger than expected braking force on the front of the bikes, Ford GoBike said in a statement that the decision to remove the bikes comes down to safety:

“Out of an abundance of caution, we are proactively removing the bikes from service for the time being. We know this is disappointing to the many people who love the current experience — but reliability and safety comes first.”

The electric bike share system’s website said it operates 7,000 electric bikes in the Bay Area, serving San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.

A small number of those electric bikes in San Jose have different components than the one being taken out of service and will remain in service.

In the meantime, Ford GoBike said it will start quickly replacing the removed electric bikes with pedal bikes.

Also, it will extend monthly and annual memberships by a month as a “thank you” to customers.

According to Ford GoBike, it’s currently working on creating a new electric bike model and hopes to roll those out soon, although no date has been given.

The company said:

“The new bike model will be accessible just by scanning a QR (Quick Response) code or tapping your Clipper card, and overall will be more fun to ride.”

Although the bikes bear the name of Ford Motor Company, as the bikes are sponsored by Ford, the company has been acquired by transportation networking company Lyft.

Neither Ford GoBike nor Lyft were immediately available for comment.

Lyft has reportedly taken electric bikes out of service in other cities in the country, including New York City and Washington, D.C.

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