The British bicycle manufacturer, Brompton, has issued a voluntary recall of 144,000 folding bikes due to safety concerns with the axle.

Some riders have been left unable to pedal due to a fault with the bottom bracket, which is manufactured by the German company FAG, a division of Schaeffler. 

Brompton has estimated that 1 in 5,000 bikes made between April 2014 and May 2017 have been affected. However, although the number of expected failures is higher than anticipated, there had only been one reported accident at the time of the recall. 

Brompton’s recall notice on its website states that the axle “still meets international safety standards [but] this does not meet the standard which Brompton sets for its components”. The manufacturers pride themselves in high quality engineering.

Will Butler-Adams, the chief executive of Brompton, stated in the recall video uploaded to Brompton’s website: “This is a hassle, a pain and we are really sorry about that and potentially we’re going overboard but it is critical to us to protect the experience of our customers.”

Brompton is offering a free replacement of the faulty part by any certified Brompton dealer. The manufacturer acknowledged that significant costs would be incurred by the recall, despite it being unlikely that 100%of customers would return the bikes to be fixed.