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Lyft Pulling Electric Ford GoBikes From SF Streets After Reported Brake Problems

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF / AP) — Lyft has pulled thousands of electric Ford GoBikes from San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C. streets, after customers complained the bikes were braking too hard.

A spokeswoman with the ride-hailing company, headquartered in San Francisco, said Monday they are aware of reports of injuries, but wouldn't specify the number of complaints it received. On Twitter, riders complained of being thrown over the handlebars.

The ride sharing company acquired Ford GoBikes and operates 7,000 electric bikes in the Bay Area, serving San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley and Emeryville.

Although the bikes bear the name of Ford Motor Company, and the bikes are sponsored by the automaker, Ford GoBikes were designed by Motivate, which Lyft bought in November. Rival Uber acquired bike sharing company Jump Bikes last year.

Lyft removed the majority of its electric bikes, which can go up to 18 miles per hour, from San Francisco, New York and Washington, D.C on Sunday.

Lyft is working with an engineering firm to determine the cause and did not estimate when the electric bikes would be back on the road.

"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," a statement said.

Ride Hailing App Lyft Has IPO On Nasdaq Exchange
A Lyft bicycle is displayed following the Nasdaq opening bell ceremony celebrating Lyft's initial public offering (IPO) on March 29, 2019 in Los Angeles. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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 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," the company said.

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