Babboe cargo bikes recalled by Dutch regulator due to risk of “very serious injuries”, Irish owners facing uncertainty for now

— Affects Babboe bicycles designed to carry children, pets and light cargo.

Owners of most models of the Babboe brand of cargo bikes are being advised to not use their bicycles due to recurring issues with fractures which have resulted in frames breaking, according to the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority.

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Dutch authorities have warned of the risk of “very serious injuries”, especially if the frame of the bike fails while cycling in traffic.

The models of bicycles involved are Babboe City/ City-E/ City Mountain, Babboe Curve/ Curve-E/ Curve Mountain, Babboe Big/Big-E, Babboe Dog/ Dog-E, Babboe Max-E, Babboe Mini-E/Mini Mountain, Babboe Pro Trike/ Trike-E/ Trike XL, and the Babboe Carve-E/ Carve Mountain.

Babboe is known as a budget brand for cargo bikes, it is owned by the Accell Group which owns a range of brands including Raleigh, Batavus, Lapierre, Haibike, Winora, Ghost, and Koga. The warning and recall does not affect cargo bikes made by manufacturers other than Babboe.

Irish owners of Babboe have been left faced with uncertainty. Bikeme.ie, which operates a shop in Rathcoole in Co Dublin, currently has a statement on their home page: “We are aware of an issue with the Babboe factory and will contact all customers when more information is available”. The company is also replying to customers saying that they are seeking information from Babboe. The Dutch Bike Shop, which used to sell the Babboe bikes, went into liquidation last year.

The official investigation by authorities seems to have been sparked by a focus on the issue by Dutch news outlet RTL, a Dutch-language article on which can be found at rtlnieuws.nl.

A former employee who worked at Babboe in the Netherlands told RTL: “I have often seen emails from customers stating that there has been an accident.” Another is quoted as stating: “I’m surprised there have been no deaths yet.”

The Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) said that they will “inform fellow supervisors in other EU member states via the European Safety Gate signalling system.”

In a Q&A on its website, the NVWA said: “Babboe still has a few days left to supply additional information to the NVWA that could affect the scope of the recall. After that information has been examined, the NVWA will inform colleague regulators in all other EU Member States by means of the European signalling system Safety Gate. European regulators will receive this notification and are then able to adopt the measures imposed by the Netherlands or respond with other countermeasures.”

As of 17:00 on Monday, February 19th, has yet to be entered into the Safety Gate system, this was confirmed by Ireland’s Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC).

Following a request for comment by IrishCycle.com, a spokesperson for the CCPC said: “Product safety alerts are generally issued to national authorities across the EU via the Safety Gate platform. The NVWA has not yet issued information regarding their investigation through Safety Gate. In the meantime, our product safety division is contacting the NVWA for details.”

NVWA said in a statement on its website that it has “obliged cargo bike manufacturer Babboe to immediately cease trading in all its cargo bikes” and to “recall cargo bikes with a serious safety risk”.

The authority said: “Do you have a cargo bike of this type? The NVWA has demanded a recall based on legal requirements. This applies to all cargo bikes mentioned above, including those that are subject to the 2019 recall and have been modified. Babboe is responsible for the implementation, the NVWA plays no role in this. The NVWA advises consumers to no longer use this Babboe cargo bike.”

The NVWA said it started its investigation at the end of 2023 following complaints about several frame fractures of the Babboe cargo bikes.

“The NVWA research shows that Babboe has received a large number of reports of broken frames in recent years. Babboe did not follow up on these reports as required by law. For example, no investigation was carried out into the causes and no report was made to the NVWA,” the Dutch consumer protection agency said.

The NVWA said that the cargo bikes listed “may be sold again when it has been sufficiently demonstrated that they are safe, including through complete technical documentation.”

It added that it is, in collaboration with the Dutch public prosecutor’s office, examining whether there are grounds for a criminal investigation.

The quotes from NVWA are machine translations and were used here after being checked for accuracy.

In a statement on its English language website, babboe.co.uk, Babboe states: “On February 14th 2024, the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) informed Babboe that the company has not provided enough information to prove that certain models are free from safety risks.”

“The sale of these models must for this reason be put on hold. As a precaution, Babboe has decided to temporarily stop the sales of all Babboe cargo bikes,” the company said.

The company added: “Babboe and the NVWA continue to work together to ensure that the requested information is provided as quickly as possible, so that sales can be resumed. Until then, we will follow the NVWA’s advice to not use the Babboe cargo bikes. We are currently consulting with the NVWA to prepare for a recall of certain Babboe models. We will inform Babboe owners of this as soon as possible.”


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