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Jason Rantz

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Are LimePods secure enough to avoid accidents, joy rides?

LimePod is Lime's carsharing option, first launched in Seattle. (Matt PItman, KIRO Radio)

Attorney Catherine Flemming is considering a lawsuit against Lime after underage teens allegedly went on a LimePod joyride and crashed into her client’s car.

The potential case is still in its early stages.

Her client, Jonathan Gunning was stopped at a red light in Seattle this week when he says a LimePod rear-ended him, pushing his car into the vehicle in front of him. He reports that he saw two young men jump out of the LimePod and run away.

Test driving Lime’s new car in Seattle

The LimePod continued to roll and struck a utility pole. A witness chased down the passenger and brought him back. The passenger was 15 years old.

Indeed, KIRO 7 reports that many customers are not using LimePods in the most responsible ways. Some thieves have used them to steal mail. One LimePod was found upside down in Lake City.

“There is a real issue as far as how Lime is allowing folks to access their LimePods with very little vetting,” Flemming said. “All you need is to scan a drivers license and put in a form of credit card. What Lime, and many of their competitors, are trying is to make this as easy as possible…”

Lime first came to Seattle with its bikeshare system in 2017. There are now bright green electric bikes scattered throughout the city for customers to use. It wants to bring scooters to town as well, but Seattle has been slow to adopt them.

It has expanded with LimePod, however, a carshare service. Customers use the same Lime app to find a car parked nearby. They use the app to unlock the vehicle, and then are charged for the time they drive it. There are 1,5000 LimePod vehicles (Fiat 500 models) in Seattle.

LimePod access

It’s too easy, according to Flemming. So easy that kids can easily take their parents’ ID and bank card and go on a joy ride. Something along those lines is what she believes happened when a LimePod crashed into her client’s car.

“Unfortunately, Johnathan is suffering because of this,” she said.

KIRO 7 reports that Gunning is having lower back and hip pain, and is struggling at his work as a mechanic.

“What we do know is that these two young boys, they were teenagers, and they did not have drivers licenses,” Flemming said. “How do we know? The passenger that was caught and questioned explained he was 15 …”

From that questioning, Flemming believes that the driver – a friend or possibly a family member – was also underage.

Flemming believes that something like biometrics should be used in systems like LimePod. Biometrics uses things like fingerprints or eye scans to identify a person.

“This is a very new industry, the LimePods, and the way they are allowing just anyone — and we’re talking about thieves who can take snapshots of a drivers license … the technology would permit that,” she said. “The problem is that they need to bolster their security.”

According to Flemming, one step in the right direction is for Lime to be “more responsive” to incidents like her client’s.

“They’ve passed the buck and they’ve have been unresponsive,” she said, noting that they are prepared to sue, but would just rather Lime pay for bills associated with the incident.

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