Specialized Announces Voluntary Recall of Some Gen 1 Levo & Kenevo Battery Packs

May 27, 2021 at 11:49
by Mike Kazimer  

Specialized has issued a voluntary recall for a number of battery packs that were used on first generation Turbo Levo and Kenevo e-bikes due to a chance of short-circuiting if water reaches a portion of the battery's circuit board.

The full details of the recall are below, and can also be found at: www.specialized.com/gb/en/safety-notices .

PRESS RELEASE: Specialized

Dear Specialized rider,

We are issuing a voluntary recall for a small number of battery packs sold as original equipment on and as aftermarket equipment for use with 1st Generation Turbo Levo and Kenevo electric mountain bikes with the control panel on the side, manufactured between 2017 and 2019. Specialized and retailers will contact riders that may be affected by this recall via email and with a notification on the Turbo Mission Control app.

Please read the instructions below to determine if your battery is affected. If so, reach out to your Authorized Specialized Retailer who will inspect your bike and repair the battery pack at no cost to you, which involves re-gluing the Control Pad to seal it more effectively. Lithium-ion batteries are a stable and safe way to power our portable electronic devices, including e-bikes. As with all devices, review your bike's user manual for proper care.

It is a privilege to share our passion for bikes with you and we hope to get you back on the trails quickly. Reach out to your retailer or contact Specialized Rider Care if you have any questions.

Thank you for riding Specialized,

Mike Sinyard

Reason for This Recall

All Specialized bike batteries are designed and tested to meet or exceed industry standards for water resistance. For the small number (estimated less than 15%) of battery packs, if conductive water (e.g., salt or chlorinated) penetrates the seal around the Control Pad, e.g., through repeated pressure-washing, and reaches a specific very small area of the battery pack’s protection circuit board, it can in very rare cases trigger a short-circuit that would bypass the multiple layers of protection built into the battery pack. In sufficiently charged battery packs, this can potentially lead to a thermal runaway event, posing fire and burn hazards.

Affected Bike Models

The following bike models may have a recalled battery. If your bike is not listed here, then you are not affected by this recall. In first generation Levo and Kenevo bikes, the Control Pad is located on the side of the battery. If your Control Pad is not located on the side of the battery you are not affected by this recall.


How to Tell if Your M1 "Trail" Battery is Affected:

Potentially affected battery packs can be identified by a combination of both the part number and manufacture dates listed below, both of which are noted on a label adhered to each battery pack.

The battery pack needs to be removed from the bicycle using a 6mm Allen key in order to read the label. If the label cannot be read or is missing, you should arrange to take your bike into your nearest authorized retailer for checking.


What Should I Do if I Have An Affected Battery Pack?

Re-install your battery in the bike, but do not charge the battery pack until your Authorized Specialized Retailer has repaired it. If your battery pack has a charge level of 50% or more, as a precaution, you should ride your bike (in dry conditions) as soon as possible for the sole purpose of reducing the charge level to less than 50% (if possible, no lower than 20% for retailer diagnostics). Once below a 50% charge level, please contact your Authorized Specialized Retailer to schedule a free bike repair starting Monday, May 24.

If your Control Pad is not located on the side of the battery or if your battery pack Manufacture P/N is not listed here then you are not affected by this recall and may keep riding your bike as usual.


What Will Specialized Do For Affected Riders?

Specialized Rider Care and Retailers will be contacting riders who may be affected by this recall.
If your battery pack is affected, your Authorized Specialized Retailer will inspect and repair it at no cost to you, which involves re-gluing the Control Pad to seal it more effectively.

Do not expose your battery pack to any water until it is repaired. Even thereafter, do not use a high-pressure water spray to clean your bicycle or battery pack.


For more information, please visit: www.specialized.com/gb/en/safety-notices .


92 Comments

  • 196 25
 suck it ebike nerds
  • 14 2
 to quote the Talking Heads....
"People on their way to work say baby what did you expect
Gonna burst into flame
Go ahead
Burning down the house"
  • 20 15
 Yes, because non-ebikes have *never* suffered from a recall...
  • 13 56
flag DoubleCrownAddict (May 27, 2021 at 21:25) (Below Threshold)
 When I blow past old timey slow bike riders on the climbs at 4 times their speed without slowing down on my double crown e bike, I think about the hater comments like these and don't feel guilty about it.
#FutureDestroysThePast
  • 26 3
 @DoubleCrownAddict: oh. You’re back. Let the insecurity begin
  • 8 1
 @DoubleCrownAddict: the bike industry loves you
  • 21 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: seriously though dude. You like double crown forks. You don’t like pedalling. You like electric motors. You hate derailleurs.

So … Just get an electric dirt bike already
  • 3 1
 To add to "range anxiety syndrome" we now have "battery burnout anxiety syndrome" . Shrinks are going to be busy.
  • 5 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: they're usually the types of people I push out of the way on the way back down... everyone gets theirs eventually....
  • 3 0
 @ScandiumRider: Sure they have... BUT NOT FOR RANDOMLY COMBUSTING Big Grin


Also, they're just called bikes. A "non-ebike" is not a thing.
  • 1 2
 @DoubleCrownAddict: Dude, stop sniffing glue - it does damage the brain! And you are proof in point…
  • 6 6
 @short-but-sweet: I actually like pedaling and do some road biking also, on a non e bike. But e bikes rule for me in the dirt, twice as many laps and without the slow suffering and sweating on the climbs. Climbing on an e bike is so much more fun, and the downhills are just as good.
  • 4 3
 @short-but-sweet: Ebikes are the only cause of electrical fires... ever?
Wow. Who knew...
  • 1 0
 @ScandiumRider: spontaneous combustion dude
  • 3 0
 @short-but-sweet: Sarcasm...
  • 1 0
 nice licra lmfaoooo
  • 91 1
 Who said $15,000 for a specialized Ebike wasn’t a smoking deal?
  • 37 0
 “due to a chance of short-circuiting if water reaches a portion of the battery's circuit board”

Huh......go figure.

Shocking.
  • 40 0
 I mean, ebikers claim that ebikes make boring trails more exciting. A run away battery fire sure would make a boring ride more exciting!
  • 9 1
 @kcy4130: Wonder if they still know how to run
  • 36 1
 *Specialized hires attorney and sues Mother Nature
  • 7 0
 Blame it on RockRoot!
  • 27 3
 Looking forward to fire season
  • 9 5
 I've wondered when this was going to happen. The craziest thing about this, is that Specialized seems to have their shit in a pile. Curious on how this will play out with the rest of the e-bike industry who seemingly doesnt as much... Definitely going to see a forest fire started by one of these things in the future...
  • 1 4
 @Rconroy: The funny part of that is that you are actually serious.
  • 2 1
 If one day, an eBike does cause a fire and burns down a forest, mountain or park, which is entirely possible, I wonder what will happen to eBike access?
  • 6 1
 Dear citizens, the wilderness is now open for e-bike access... between the 1st of November and the 1st of April, all e-bikes must be equipped with a fire extinguisher at all times, all e-bike users must attend a mandatory fire extinguisher handling and use classes ( taxes apply ), after which, a fire extinguisher permit must be purchased and then validated by your local Forestry Service ( taxes apply ). Enjoy our wilderness responsibly ! ( insert Smokey the Bear HERE )
  • 24 0
 Didn't the Hindenburg also have a "thermal runaway event"?
  • 9 0
 more like a thermal flyaway event
  • 2 0
 @snl1200: That's after the thermal conductive event Wink
  • 28 5
 What does dualcrowndickhead say now?
  • 26 0
 He says it's YT's fault.
  • 18 0
 So they're kinda like cheap Chinese hoverboards?
  • 16 1
 Kill it with thermal runaway event!
  • 17 4
 i’d be surprised any ebike from 2016-2018 didn’t brick itself in the next year.
  • 10 0
 In my industry, thermal runaway event = big ol' fire, lots of ejecta, and toxic smoke. Good Luck!

"Lithium-ion batteries are a stable and safe way" So, this is sort of correct, Lithium batteries are stable and can be somewhat safe, but depending on who your supplier is, and how your BMS operates, it may not be true. Lithium batteries compared to a Pb acid, or NiMH, not at all safe or stable, but way more energy dense. But they're also way less tolerant and if you skimp on battery protections, they have some pretty crazy failure modes. We can see temperatures that are in the several hundred Celsius range and if your pack goes into a thermal runaway, good luck extinguishing it. The only way to stop a Li-Ion battery fire is to cool the pack to the point that the reaction ceases. The only way I know to do that is with copious amounts water.

If you have a Specialized e bike, you need to keep it over a dunk tank with thermal fuse, that way when it goes into thermal runaway it'll drop into a big tank of water and stop it from burning your entire house down.
  • 4 0
 No creek crossings or you might burn down a forest!
  • 2 0
 @BikesBoatsNJeeps
This! I work in the battery trade and our main focus is pb acid but we do get a lot of Li-on come through our doors. Once thermal runaway starts and it doesn't take much, stand back and watch the flames
  • 3 0
 I remember doing some development work for a company that was called MGM with AEA technology providing the circuit design. They had a thermal run-away in their London premises behind a blast wall in a test chamber, it took out the whole factory and they relocated to Thurso in Northern Scotland, they are now called Denchi Group Ltd.
We did cell balancing technology on all of the cells to maintain best lifetime.
I would not want to be in the way when lithium cells go!

Safer than oil an gas downhole tools cells though that only start to operate at higher temperatures.

I still do work with battery manufacturers, but only for mass manufacture, some of the failure rates for the common battery we all buy from the shops is quite high, luckily they dont pose much threat when they fail.
I have seen a CR2032 fail in spectacular fashion, a nice firework! (we didn't qualify that manufacturer, but they were not a small one!)
  • 3 0
 @betsie: a CR2032 is a primary battery and will react pretty violently if abused. Since these are some type of rechargeable chemistry the failure will be less violent however it is cascading since it’s a pack, so it’ll continue to burn until it runs out of heat or energy.
We do battery abuse on purpose and have some pretty large steel chambers to perform testing in. Our chambers are designed to hold back about 20psi and we’ve had some small thionyl chloride primary cells damage our chambers. We used to test in a chamber that was essentially an old gun turret and a very large thionyl chloride under abuse caused the turret to lift off the ground.
Li-ion rechargeables don’t have the energy density of a lithium metal primary so their failures aren’t as spectacular, but if pack a lot of them into a tiny space you can get some major fireworks. We’re working on some Pb-acid replacements and when you package a lot of 26650 into a cubic foot and then abuse one cell they’ll burn hot and for a long time, hours depending on what the battery case is made of.
The inexpensive Drone or RC batteries are a real safety concern they are produced extremely poorly and typically rely on a charger for their BMS. We’ve had several go off during standard non-abusive cycling. I won’t let them into my house to be charged for my kids toys.
  • 12 0
 I work at a Specialized dealer and we received a tube of JB-Weld and a note telling us what part to glue down! Had a loooong chuckle in the workshop about that one.
  • 1 0
 Hey! I live far away from any Specialized dealer, and I'm interested in "repairing" it myself. Did you get any work instruction? The question is actually, how should I get the switch out of the battery to glue it?
could you send me an email to iulianfi"at"yahoo.com? Thanks a bunch!!!
  • 12 0
 I’m just here for the Schadenfreude.
  • 15 3
 Sorry your "bicycle" was damaged by water.
  • 3 2
 fucking priceless comment! thanx for that dude!
  • 6 0
 At least Specialized is alerting their customers and putting out a public recall. They have to, ultimately they're liable. But you gotta wonder about the battery safety of all the no-name ebikes that have been sold cheaply through a myriad of sales channels.
  • 7 0
 I had a thermal runaway event on a back country ride once. Things turned pretty downcountry very fast.
  • 4 0
 was it caused eating mexican before?
  • 4 0
 I’ve gone through 4 of these batteries. The fix that they are doing still doesn’t fix the issue. I’ve got a battery that the switch was sealed and it still got water in there. I took it apart because It was out of warranty. Granted I live in the pnw and ride all winter. So it sees a lot of water and snow. lol. But I never pressure wash the bike. Kinda thought specialized would come out with an extended warranty for these batteries as every owner of this style battery deals with this for sure
  • 1 0
 I confirm this. Any amount of water in the switch results in dead leds...
  • 7 1
 It's going to tarnish e-bikes in a way that's difficult to recover from when the second forest fire is started by one.
  • 7 2
 I've got over 2,000 miles on mine with no issues on the battery side. I have had to upgrade/reinforce the motor recently. How about a new battery instead of just glueing?
  • 1 0
 That’s impressive. I haven’t got more than 800kms on a battery yet
  • 7 1
 OH MY GOD! WE'RE HAVING A FIRE! SALE!
  • 4 1
 I wonder how many original batteries from 2017 are still around, and how much of the original capacity these things still have.
  • 3 0
 I’ve one (the oldest 460Wh) and it’s still doing fine - in terms of energy capacity. As far as the the leds are concern - 2 blank, 2 red Smile ))
  • 4 0
 How to tell if your bikes battery pack is affected. 1. Is your bike smoking or on fire. Yes or no?
  • 2 1
 "Lithium-ion batteries are a stable and safe way to power our portable electronic devices, including e-bikes. As with all devices, review your bike's user manual for proper care. In sufficiently charged battery packs, this can potentially lead to a thermal runaway event, posing fire and burn hazards."
Specializeds' lawyers should be strapped to pile of ebike batteries, then given a thorough going over with a power washer.
  • 5 0
 This years annual forest fire is sponsored by Specialized!
  • 3 1
 This has taken a while. The gen1 batteries have been known to have had this issue for a long time. The gen 2 is a much better design.
  • 1 1
 I'd be interested to read where the issue was previously known
  • 1 0
 @zachcalton: Plenty of talk about it on levo/kenevo facebook groups + emtb forums over the years.
I havent had a gen1 for over a year now & it was always known not to get the switch area wet or you would likely get the battery light issue of doom due to moisture ingress. Plus people wanting to buy a new rubber as theirs had fell off & gotten lost.
I expect plenty have had to buy a new battery out of warranty due to this issue, pretty poor, but the price of early adoption. The gen2/3 are much much better plus a damn sight cheaper & more plentiful to buy secondhand.
  • 4 0
 If this was how cavemen discovered fire we wouldn't have e-bikes.
  • 2 0
 I remember reading about this problem in 2018, and they recall it now when most of these batteries have already been replaced!
  • 2 0
 Two of my friends had this issue, because they were not the original owners got told to eat a bag of the proverbial. $1100 for another battery. SMH.
  • 4 1
 I think the second hand ebike market will be interesting to watch. Really the last thing I would buy second hand.
  • 3 0
 Thermal runaway event? Like leaving a flaming bag of dog shit on someone’s porch?
  • 4 0
 Rammstein entered the chat
  • 4 1
 most of those 2017 bikes are just neglected in a shed anyway
  • 3 0
 Thermal runaway event.... this was something we did in Boy Scouts.
  • 2 0
 Sure, it's dangerous if you are caught in an electrical fire, but bombing a trail while on fire seems epic to me...
  • 1 0
 The problem began when they installed a battery on a bike. It’s just all wrong and cycling gods are rightfully punishing all of you.
  • 3 0
 Perfect storm
  • 2 0
 its like setting a few months worth of income on fire, riveting
  • 1 0
 Better late than never. I wonder how much Specialized will pay the bike shops to do that work.
  • 2 0
 So is this how the factory burnt down?
  • 1 0
 Cant be many gen 1 batteries out there, most got replaced in first 6 months from new?
  • 1 0
 Specialized: "come get your bikes fixed before they blow up between your legs"
  • 1 0
 "hermal runaway event" - sounds like a nuclear meltdown! Specialized e-bikes are a rolling time bomb!
  • 1 0
 .....Ride the Lightning !!
  • 1 0
 Nothing a gigabyte of ram won’t fix
  • 1 0
 So it turns out Spec ebike buyers are burning money after all.
  • 1 0
 F E bikes and the Evil S - all y’all kiss my converse like sho nuff.
  • 1 1
 What's the problem, just pedal it back to your Prius.... oh wait you cant because its too hard. ohhh, I'm sorry.
  • 2 1
 lalalala....
  • 3 2
 Haha
  • 2 3
 What would you expect of a China made products.

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