Cargo bike Babboe ordered to halt all sales over safety fears


The Dutch product safety board NVWA has told cargo bike maker Babboe to stop selling all its bicycle-based vehicles and to recall a number of models, after reports that several frames have broken, injuring children who were being transported.

The NVWA said on Wednesday it had launched its own investigation at the end of last year after being alerted to a number of incidents in which bike frames broke. Babboe failed to respond the investigation as it should have done, the safety body said.

Earlier this week, RTL Nieuws reported on dozens of cases of the frames breaking, causing accidents and injuries.

One mother from Utrecht, Marieke Meijs, said her two children, aged seven and nine, fell out of the front-mounted crate while she was pedalling along Koningsweg when a steering ball joint snapped, leaving her nine-year-old daughter with a “deep cut”.

RTL also said it had spoken to five employees at Babboe who acknowledged that several bikes with broken frames had been brought into its repair shop in Amersfoort.

The NVWA has ordered the company to stop all sales immediately because the safety of the cargo bikes cannot be guaranteed. The bikes can be sold as soon as it has been proved they are safe, the government agency said.

The company has also been told to recall all cargo bike types which are now known to be defective and the NVWA is also talking to the public prosecution department to see if there are grounds for a criminal investigation.

Babboe recalled around 3,500 City model bikes made in two batches between 2010 and 2018 after safety tests revealed hairline cracks that could cause the frame to break during “intensive use”.

Prices for new cargo bikes on Babboe’s website range from €1,800 for a Babboe Big to €5,750 for an electric powered Carve Mountain model. Both types are on the recall list.

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