The Zap Xebra, a three wheel Chinese built electric vehicle classified as a motorcycle, has been recalled by the manufacturer.
The Xebra, a three wheeled, low speed electric vehicle built in 2008 and in use in the U.S. mainly by parking enforcement and campus safety personnel is subject to a recall due to its excessively long braking distance.
Since the vehicle is classified as a motorcycle, most safety requirements do not need to be met. There are no crash standards, no crumple zones, and no airbag requirements. However, motorcycles must still meet a minimum braking requirement. The Xebra fails to meet the braking standard and the manufacturer has issued a recall of all 738 built.
Zap and the Chinese maker of the vehicle Qingqi Group Motorcycle Co., LTD has come up with a proposed fix at this point. They are working with the NHTSA to confirm that their brake improvements will comply with testing standards.
ZAP spokesman Alex Campbell told writers at AutoBlogGreen
ZAP has been working to respond to and insure a brake modification to meet the stopping distance requirement. The motorcycle guidelines are designed for freeway speeds, while the Xebra was designed to travel at city speeds. No incidents or injuries related to this braking compliance have been reported to us.
We have been examining the manufacturing procedures and technical support to establish methods so our authorized service centers have a modification to bring the brakes for the 2008 Xebras into compliance. We have had ongoing discussions regarding this with NHTSA and an independent testing lab and have proposed several minor modifications to the braking system as the most efficient and effective solution. We are now waiting on the testing of these modifications and hope to hear back within the next several days that they have certified the modifications.
PLEASE NOTE: All inquiries must be directed to the manufacturer, not the Department of Transportation.