Car video reviews:

Simon Cowell e-Bike Lawsuit Could Win Him Millions for Broken Back But Shouldn’t

Unpopular opinion possibly coming through: it’s stupid to put “Caution: contents hot” labels on disposable coffee cups. It’s also stupid to sue a maker for selling you the product you wanted but never bothered to do your homework on.
The Swind EB-01 is described as the most powerful e-bike on the market, sells at over $20,000The Swind EB-01 is described as the most powerful e-bike on the market, sells at over $20,000The Swind EB-01 is described as the most powerful e-bike on the market, sells at over $20,000The Swind EB-01 is described as the most powerful e-bike on the market, sells at over $20,000The Swind EB-01 is described as the most powerful e-bike on the market, sells at over $20,000
Yet both are happening.

Word is out that Simon Cowell, Great Britain’s most famous export, a very successful and rich music mogul and charming television personality, is weighing his options and considering legal action against Swindon Powertrain, which sells the Swind EB-01 e-bike from which he fell last August. The fall was no joke, to be sure: Cowell was just about to take the e-bike on a first test ride, accidentally hit torque and popped a wheelie, and was thrown onto his back.

He broke three vertebrae, was more than six hours in surgery and was left unable to walk for almost two months, during which time he required plenty of therapy, painkillers and even had a live-in nurse to help him out with daily chores. Many feared that he might never be able to walk again, and perhaps just as many believed his age (Cowell is 61 years old) would definitely have a say in his recovery.

The silver lining is that, by all accounts, Cowell is ok. He is able to walk and, though he’s still experiencing some pain and discomfort, he will make a full recovery. He will probably never ride again, but that’s another story. A “death trap” in inexperienced hands
Now that he’s ok, Cowell is also thinking of ways to make up for his terrible 2020 and one of them implies taking the maker of the EB-01 to court over medical bills, loss of income and damages for the pain he’s suffered. His argument is that Swindon shouldn’t have sold him the e-bike without training and is based on the words of a company whistleblower now speaking to the media.

“That thing is a death trap and should never have been sold to Simon without him being taught how to use it,” says the insider, who claims he repeatedly tried to tell bosses to not send the e-bike over to Cowell without calling him in for training – a request they denied. “It’s like trying to control a wild horse rearing up.”

As per the insider, the EB-01 has three riding modes, with the third offering the most torque, accessible right away. The source claims he tried to tell bosses they needed to use some type of safeguard for less experienced riders, which would allow them to access this mode only at certain speeds. They didn’t, so Cowell presumably started the bike and put it right in mode three.

“They knew at the factory this was extremely dangerous and it was discussed,” says the tipster. “The only way to stop the bike flipping is to put your whole body over the front wheel.”

When Cowell failed to do that, he was kicked off and it broke his back. An attorney believes for this reason alone, Cowell could score as much as £10 million ($13.2 million) from Swindown, on the grounds it failed to take all measures to ensure customers’ safety. “Caution: contents hot”
At what point do we stop blaming manufacturers for users’ stupidity or recklessness, though? This sound very much like the world-famous warning plastered on all disposable coffee cups, about how the hot coffee you ordered is, well, hot. The origin of that warning is justified: in 1994, a 79-year-old woman was scalded in hot coffee because McDonald's was selling it at too high temperatures - well above the limit temperature one usually drinks coffee. 

So this is an over-generalization, but it serves to make a point: Simon Cowell broke his back because he didn’t read the instructions manual (something he admitted to right away, as soon as he was out of surgery), and based on the looks of things, not even the description of the bike he’d bought. Because it says right there that this “bike” (a trail motorcycle mislabeled due to existing legal loopholes) is the most powerful on the market thanks to its 15kW motor, able to deliver insane speeds and unparalleled thrills.

If you’ve ever ridden an e-bike, you probably did it after some research. If you never bothered with the manual, at least you read online specs of the product, if only to see if it fit your needs and learn how to operate it.

Simon Cowell didn’t. He, a 61 year old man (granted, 60 is the new 20 and all that, but try telling that to your aging body), with more than a dozen e-bikes in his garage and at least 2 years’ worth of experience on all models and makes, bought himself an expensive new toy and then jumped on it without as much a single thought on how to operate it.

His accident was unfortunate, to be sure, but it was his fault. Blaming it on the e-bike maker and then trying to paint himself as some sort of champion for other riders’ safety feels hypocritical and quite the “OK boomer” move.

As Swindon puts it, “The EB-01 user manual includes a detailed process of how to familiarize oneself with the performance features and procedures to follow. The company has acted in good faith at all times.” Which is to say, ride at your own risk, if you’re reckless enough to ignore standard procedure.

Editor's note: The Swind EB-01 is pictured in the gallery.


Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories