Current News



FDNY makes first-ever arrest over sale of potentially deadly illegal e-bike batteries

Thomas Tracy, New York Daily News on

Published in News & Features

NEW YORK — A Brooklyn e-bike shop worker repeatedly accused of flouting laws against selling uncertified and potentially deadly lithium-ion batteries has been arrested on reckless endangerment charges, FDNY officials said Tuesday.

Friday’s bust was the first time fire marshals have arrested someone for storing and selling uncertified e-bike batteries, a violation of NYC Local Law 39, FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.

Members of the FDNY’s E-bike Task Force had visited the Electric Bicycle Shop on Flatbush Ave. near Avenue D in Flatbush three previous times issuing Tian Liang Lu multiple summonses for having e-bike batteries without proper certification from Underwriters Laboratories. The certification ensures the batteries have been built to current safety standards.

Task force members returned on Friday to find that the store “showed little or no compliance,” Kavanagh said at a press conference at FDNY headquarters.

“There were 15 batteries and multiple e-bikes without UL certification for sale throughout the entire store,” Kavanagh said. “He violated the rules enough times to feel we had to make a point.”

Fire Marshals took Lu to the 70th Precinct stationhouse to be charged, Kavanagh said. He was given a desk appearance ticket and is expected to face the charges in court at a later date, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office said.

It was not immediately clear if Lu owns the shop or is just an employee.


“We went there in September, in January, then again earlier this month,” FDNY Fire Marshal Daniel Flynn said. “If we go there and we told you it was reckless and if you don’t change your ways you may be subject to an arrest.”

Kavanagh said that there have been 10 lithium-ion battery fires in the city in the last week. Five of the fires took place over the weekend.

The department has sent local businesses educational materials to help shops work in compliance with the city law. Many shops have changed their ways but there are still a few that have thumbed their nose at the new laws, she said.

“If we continue to see reckless behavior that does kill New Yorkers than we will take similar actions,” she said.

Last month a raging Bronx fire that left 10 people hurt and displaced 26 residents was sparked by a lithium-ion battery-powered e-bike stored under the stairs, FDNY officials. In February, a lithium-ion battery sparked a massive blaze in Harlem that killed a Columbia Journalism School graduate and injured 17 others.

Last year, lithium-ion batteries were responsible for 268 fires citywide that injured 150 and killed 18.

©2024 New York Daily News. Visit at Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


blog comments powered by Disqus