Dutch e-bike manufacturer VanMoof has declared bankruptcy. Referred to by some as the Tesla of e-bikes, over the years the company's sleekly-designed €2,000 offerings were plagued by quality control problems ranging from faulty brakes to wobbly wheels to error codes that disabled operation. Although VanMoof's sales exploded during the pandemic, those larger sales figures brought ever-larger numbers of repair orders, overwhelming the company's service centers.
There were design missteps, too: Several years ago the company redesigned their packaging, developing a more eco-friendly box that was cheaper to ship, but offered less protection. As a result numerous customers received damaged bikes—"Sometimes you see the damage and it's insane," engineer and co-founder Ties Carlier told The Verge in 2020—leading to yet more repair orders.
At present the company has closed their brand stores, and VanMoof owners with bikes currently in for service will reportedly be able to collect them "when the pick-up plan is finalized," according to the company. "Unfortunately it could be the case that your bike is not repaired when picked up." Spare parts are currently unavailable.
Repairs aside, the worry with a connected product is that it becomes useless once the company's servers go down and support ends. For now, the company reports, "your bike will remain functional and rideable, as we aim to keep our app and servers online and aim to secure the ongoing services for the future. As unforeseen circumstances could arise, we advise you to create a backup unlock code so you can unlock your bike through the buttons on your handlebar."
If you're a VanMoof owner, or have placed an order and are wondering how to get your money back, you can learn more here.
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