presseportal.de, 2021/05/25

SWR / E-Bikes - Alarming results in the workshop check

“Marktcheck” on German regional channel SWR

The e-bike boom continues with almost two million e-bikes sold in Germany last year. But appointments for repair or maintenance of the electric bikes are rare. Moreover, you cannot always be sure that the works are performed in a professional way. The SWR consumer magazine “Marktcheck” made a workshop check in the Greater Stuttgart area with the e-bikes of viewers. One of the bikes even shows life-threatening defects after maintenance that it did not have before. How come that such blatant mistakes occur? The alarming results of the workshop check on May 25, 2021, 8.15 p.m. on SWR TV. Subsequently, online in the ARD-Mediathek, at SWR and on youtube.

Support from the Ludwigsburg e-bike expert Dirk Zedler

“Marktcheck” is supported by the Ludwigsburg expert and loss adjustor for bicycles and electric bikes Dirk Zedler. Problems are already noticed during the acceptance of the maintenance. There is only one retailer where the staff takes the time to inspect the e-bike together with the customer in advance. In other workshops, the employees are not willing to do so even when asked. The consequence: In one case, the repair ended up with costs around 1,000 Euro instead of the predicted 70 Euro - at least the workshop asks the customer beforehand. There are also blatant deficiencies in the workshop work. One e-bike in originally sound condition returns from the maintenance with the handlebars not properly tightened. The expert Dirk Zedler is startled: “That's grade six, absolutely unsatisfactory. A bike like that must not be used on the road.” The retailer concerned, one of the largest in Baden-Wuerttemberg, recognises the mistake when asked by “Marktcheck” and promises a comprehensive review of the processes in his workshop.

Professional e-bike inspection

Professional acceptance is a basic requirement by which you can recognise a competent workshop, says Dirk Zedler. “You should expect from your retailer of trust to be accepted properly when you come for an inspection and that this conversation lasts at least ten minutes and is conducted competently." In the “Marktcheck” check, the workshop with a professional acceptance also showed the best performance in maintenance.

Shortage of skilled staff for the repair and maintenance of e-bikes

A fundamental problem in the industry is the shortage of skilled staff. The retailer with the inadequate workshop performance has been selling e-bikes for many years but will only start training the first two-wheeler mechatronic technician this autumn. This is not an isolated case, admits Werner Metzger of Baden-Wuerttemberg’s bicycle mechanic guild: “Without a master craftsman whose skills also include the instructor qualification, I cannot train a two-wheeler mechatronic technician. That is the problem of many companies that have focused on trade and neglected the workshop in recent years. Now the boomerang comes back, now all the repairs come. And the workshop does not have the capacity to deal with the increasing number of piece numbers.”

Author: ots

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