Pre-Order Focbox Unity $249 | FocBox $99USD

Start up battery company with webshop (Help wanted with product liability)


#1

Hi esk8 builders,

I have been building batteries for myself, some friends and some people from the forum for two years.
I see that the demand behind li ion packs remains huge. Because of that, I want to tackle it bigger next year
I want to start up a fully professional company. Webshop, mail etc.

I want to sell complete plug and play packs, but also all the accessories to build a pack yourself. I want to realize delivery times of 48 hours on standard packs.

All this is going to work with sufficient preparation.

Now I only have one problem: What if it goes wrong with one of my packs? (I know if you use my pack correctly, so no flexing on stiff packs, do not make a short circuit, do not abuse with heat etc, It will give you no problem and last long).

We have in Belgium “product liability” (productaansprakelijkheid)(I think in the whole EU) on each product we sell. If things go wrong and someone gets hurt by my product, the insurance will ask me money to pay. I understand the liability, but most people are using my packs inside their DIY boards, So I have no view on what they do with my battery.

Someone any idea how I can solve this problem with liability?

Much thanks!
Pjotr


#2

Ok so I’m not 100% sure about Belgian law. In Austria you could have some sort if box at the checkout that your customers have to tick which says something along those lines:

If there are any faults the seller cannot be held accountable for any kind of damage.
But that’s just my knowledge :smile:


#3

At the moment I report this to the person before he has paid and before the product has been delivered.

When I do everything officially, I have to sell everything according to Belgian law. And the the box that the costumer must tick is sadly not enough here :confused:


#4

Other idea:
What if you take the risk that something happens and take a look at an company insurrance. So if something happens an insurance covers the damage…
Just another idea :slight_smile:


#5

Yes you need a liability insurance for your company


#6

A company insurrance is the first thing I will take, I have made a price request to be insured up to 1 million euros.
But what if someone short-circuits my battery in an apartment building of 20 million euros? I think it can never be ascertained whether the fault was, the battery or the person who shorted it…

It is all a bit complex, I wonder how @psychotiller @longhairedboy @barajabali @scepterr @darkkevind @fottaz @Acido etc managed all this


#7

I guess you could sell those packs as “not for use in skateboards” or something like that
That avoids the law, if shit goes south you could say that those batteries weren’t used properly example only for bench testing

I didn’t read about that law but to me it doesn’t make much sense
example you buy 50liters of fuel and put it in your house, it blows up because of miscare and by the law its the pumps fault?
Im thinking of talking to a lawyer if the buyer signs that im not responsible for anything that could happen is enough, but i never menage to find time

Im also interested on this since Im getting too many orders lately…


#8

I am going to call some experts and lawyers the coming weeks. The part from liability insurance is something I am going to take for 100%. Here in Belgium there are around 1-2 fires each day by bad battery’s from electric bikes. Because of that I think the insurance will cost me much.
I know also problem of many orders. Building good battery packs take much time.
I have also some people around who are asking of repairing their ebike battery.

I will let you know when I know more about it. I hope that also some other battery builders will reply :slight_smile:


#9

Mate, I’m a hobbyist… Whatever you do with your pack once you have it is not my business any more…

I will always repair/replace any faulty cells etc. But if you burn your house down because you shorted the battery… that’s your problem my friend :+1:t2:


#10

That’s the same way of thinking like me. But due the Belgium that is not ok…


#11

Not from Belgium and don’t know EU/Belgian laws…but…

What if you made the customer send you a non-plagiarized overview of the “Risks” section of your terms of service before you would fulfill their order :rofl:

So, check out online, pay, but then until they email this to you, their order never is made…with full refund possible if they want

Anyway, just an idea


#12

Hmm that is a good idea… so that they must sign a paper with risk etc by hand. But I don’t know if that is enough for the Dutch law. I hope some experts can tell me more.


#13

Can’t you just get them to digitally sign a waver on your website that absolves you of any responsibility once they receive the battery?

Genuine customers wouldn’t be put off by this.

It means you’re not responsible if they’re not responsible with your battery, but it doesn’t affect warranty/faults/repair etc. with fair use, that’s still covered.


#14

What you can do is: “don’t charge inside. Don’t charge without supervision. When issues, remove from power source and cover with sand”
That will cover the building issue. Most of the other suggestions won’t work as even though the law is stupid, they will find that you are selling eskate batts (hence fi you can’t say ‘not for eskate use’)


#15

Now I only know about US laws, but here I am using an LLC to protect myself. With the small quantity of boards I am going to produce, product liability insurance is just too expensive and doesn’t make sense.

Instead, I use an LLC so if there is a lawsuit, they can only sue the LLC. Sure this would result in my board business LLC going bankrupt, but at least my personal finances are safe.


#16

That is something I can do.
But the problem is that such a singature or text is not enough for the belgium law… :confused:

I understand, That is a very good thing for your personal finances. Unfortunately we don’t have LLC here in Belgium.


#17

EU law:


#18

Can you not test all products befor shipment AND keep a record of results for 3 years that’s how the installation industry works.

We also have to have calibration results of testers going back as prof of ongoing matinance. Written proceed-as of how to do things.

I’m guessing stress tests of high load and bursts with a befor and after check on health of the battery and temps

Prof your welds/materials/insulation/storage is suficant for the job at the time of distribution. Instructions on safe use and risks with a disclaimer saying failya to follow instructions can cause xyz. I’m guessing that’s how most company’s sell things. That paper manual thing in the box no one reads.

Spell checker not working so get over bad spelling or don’t read it.

Edit and a death date (even salt has a use by date🤪)


#19

He means whats is called here an NV