How Ola Wilfully Endangered Its Riders

A Mint investigation has found that Ola is willfully endangering its riders with its suspension.

Last April, images began to circulate of a blue Ola S1 Pro lying on its belly with its front wheel out, reportedly after a head-on collision in a Maharashtra city. The incident set off alarm bells among Ola’s suppliers, a Mint investigation found, and they asked the company for an explanation. It appeared that the S1 Pro, Ola Electric’s flagship scooter, had a front fork arm that did not hold up in tough Indian conditions.

In a two-wheeler, the suspension unit determines how effectively it navigates rough terrain. It is what decides how smooth and balanced your ride is going to be. In the Ola S1, the suspension, however, is connected to the wheel by a large piece of high-pressure aluminum die-casting, called the front fork arm. The suspension does not buckle unless the fork arm casting breaks. Ola’s fork unit uses a cantilevered design, where the weight of the structure is supported only on one-side. It is the only scooter in India’s 20-million-strong two-wheeler market that uses this fork-arm as a joint between the suspension and the wheel.

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