Submitted to X-Treme Scooters' support ticket platform Sept. 4, 2009
I hope you can help me. I have a short list of problems with the scooter, all of which are getting progressively worse. While I purchased the scooter last December, I just put it on the road in April, and it only has 1688km on it.
I will start with the serious safety issues.
1. Since the very beginning, the turn signal has been difficult to operate. Sliding it either direction does not reliably effect a signal, which distracts me from driving while I check multiple times to see if it is on. Pushing in to turn it off is equally unreliable. Lately, I have thought several times that it was completely broken when I could not get the signal to come on at all. I would describe it as functioning intermittently (and I am riding very little because of it).
2. The charge meter is highly inaccurate. Several times, I have been driving along with the gauge registering half full and had the motor die on me. Lately, the gauge falls to half way after the first mile or two of a trip, leading me to believe it could give out at any time.
3. The scooter no longer achieves a top speed above 40mpg. If it can't go 45, it can't be registered as a motorcycle. In many states, including MA, this means it can't be registered at all, as mopeds must be mechanically limited to 25mph.
4. The brakes. Ugh. These have made a horrendous noise since the very beginning. During inspection, I was informed the rear disc was bent and needed to be replaced. I had this done at considerable expense, made worse by the fact a bolt that needed to be removed was frozen, broke in place, and needed to be re-drilled. I am always thinking, "What if one of these low-quality parts breaks while I'm in traffic?" The squeal or chirp both brakes make once every rotation has gotten louder over time, even after having the pads adjusted. It appears to me that the frame holds the wheels at a slight angle, which I cannot imagine is fixable by adjusting the brakes. Lately, a grinding sound has started to accompany the squeak. And, several times after releasing the brakes at a stop light AND EVEN WHILE I'M DRIVING ALONG without my hands on the brakes, the brake light comes on and cuts out the motor.
These may need to be reported to the NHTSA. If enough people are having these problems, I would expect a recall. These scooters are not toys or hobby crafts. They are registered, insured vehicles, and as such, I expect them to be as safe as any other motorcycle on the market.
The other problems are similar in that if this were a new car, would be completely unacceptable. They have also been present from day one.
5. The seat is difficult to open. I must jiggle the key in the lock, and push and pull on the seat to get it to open. A few times, this took so long to do that I wondered if it were stuck permanently.
6. The slot in the plastic body that the right side turn signal light attaches to is large enough that the signal assembly works through it and falls, leaving the signal dangling and twisting on the side of the bike. With constant checking, repositioning and tightening, I have avoided this happening on the road recently. I should not have to do this for a brand new vehicle, though, obviously.
7. There is no manual. A booklet came with the scooter, but the information in it is for another model. The specs given in the booklet do not match those of the 3500, the diagram of features is not for the 3500, etc., etc. A manual should accurately label the parts and features of a vehicle and provide electric and other specifications for maintenance, such as bulb replacement, care instructions, etc., etc.
It was a hassle getting my order in the first place after multiple delays. Then it was a huge ordeal getting it registered and insured. I was so happy to get it on the road finally that I hoped some of these things would work themselves out or become tolerable. However, they have worsened and made me fearful of using the scooter. The brakes could wear out; the brakes could turn on unexpectedly and cut out the motor; the batteries could die when I'm miles from home while the gauge reads high; the turn signals will not come on...and so on.
Please help me remedy this situation. I love the IDEA of having this electric scooter, but the reality is so far almost entirely disastrous.
I would love to be able to go back to the two bike shops that have worked on my scooter and tell them I'm impressed by your service. One of those shops has told me they're considering carrying an electric bike. The only one they knew of before I came along was the
Volta Vectrix, but they would find a much larger market at the price points X-Treme provides for.