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beware of semi-integrated battery warranty void

Started by Ran, June 23, 2022, 03:49:54 PM

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Just wanted to share my experience with Rad support.

I'm having a problem with my (quite new) Rad Citi 5 battery, which won't charge.
By reading posts here I assume what I'm having here is a burnt fuse, but I did not try replacing it (as posted in other topic).

Contacted Rad support, which asked me to send them photos of the battery, its sockets and a video of me charging it.

I guess they wanted to see whether I've burnt the fuse or something-  apparently they saw in the video that I first connect the charger to the wall socket and then to battery.
I just realize now this is not a good practice, and I should have read the small print in the user manual.

Here's a quote from the support email I got:
I wanted to mention that after reviewing the video that was submitted, we did notice that the charging sequence that was displayed in the video you uploaded is reversed, which could possibly lead to a blown fuse. I would like to reference page 16 and 17 of your BIKE MODEL User Manual which advises the correct way to charge your semi-integrated battery. Unfortunately, since the incorrect charge sequence was applied in the video, it would void the free battery replacement.

So - here I am now, with a useless battery and asked to pay $592 (they gave me $100 discount...).


That's crazy; I always plug chargers into the wall first, then the device, to make sure any wayward wall voltage is resolved in the charger first, which should have protection circuits to deal with that.  Never had a problem with any rechargeable device doing it this way.

A good electrical design would mean it wouldn't make any difference which order plugs were inserted; what kind of crappy design did Rad come up with that doesn't protect a VERY expensive battery any better than that?  I can guarantee you're not the first to do things the way you did, because I'm at least one other person who's been doing it for years.

Seems like Rad is having all sorts of bad design, poor quality components and poor QA issues all over the place - I wonder how their big new investors are feeling about that, and the resulting warranty-claim expenses?

Hope it's just a blown 50-cent (and very poorly-designed for non-replacement) fuze, and since Rad has written you and the battery off, I don't see any harm in carefully following the instructions in this forum to replace it, as quite a few others seem to have done.

So glad my MiniST2 is running well with upgraded components, without complaint from it or me.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.


Well since they are not really playing "nice" why not just buy the new battery, claim it's not charging, have them send you a warranty replacement and you now have three perfectly working batteries for $592.00?

I'll even take the one you have now for $250.00, once you have working ones, if you put it in the replacement box and ship it to me as I'm convinced it's just the fuse (my email is on my profile).

I've asked them to send me RMA or whatever for parts I've had to warranty and I've never gotten one they just say keep the parts (ended up with a spare controller for wife's City 5+ HS plus a throttle and wire harness) but they may be more strict with battery.

They are not being intellectually honest with you so first I would probably ask to speak to a supervisor (and then immediately ask for their supervisor - trust me I've worked in major company call centers) and ask them to explain how, as a company with advertising based around being environmentally friendly, you paying $592.00 plus the environmental costs of shipping and then throwing away what you know is a perfectly good battery because they refuse to warranty replace it (due to the fact they have a poor design, that is not easily serviceable in the field) is going to help anyone? And, oh, by they way, I've already expressed my frustration on the forum and to anyone else who will listen. then ask "are you sure this is how you want to handle it"?

They might come up or find they have a different idea after that.

It's worth a shot, I mean obviously my first suggestion has questionable ethics. Actually you could just tell them what you intend to do if they don't find a better solution.


 I have a mini 4 , I charge on a breaker power strip for the bike., one day I charged in reverse order accidentally,  big spark no damage.  I try not to plug anything on that is on and draws power.



Quote from: FL-GK on June 24, 2022, 07:24:53 AM
It's worth a shot, I mean obviously my first suggestion has questionable ethics. Actually you could just tell them what you intend to do if they don't find a better solution.

I bet that would get a note put into the customer file, killing the idea.
Shucks Ma'am, I'm no "Hero Member", I just like to wear this cape.


Thanks for the tips.

I'm not sure I would take the risk of ordering a new battery. I'm trying to be honest here, while I feel that Rad are playing dirty.

I'm 100% sure, that even if I hadn't sent the video where I'm showing a "wrong" cable order connection, Rad would have found a different excuse of not replacing my battery.

The Warranty states
"...The battery is not warranted from damage resulting from power surges...", which means Rad could always claim the reason for a faulty battery is the client. How can you prove you did *not* have a power surge at home?


What was the service person thinking?  In Rad's defense, this is assuming everything is true.

1. OK.  Battery warranty problem.

2. Let's find a way not to honor the warranty.  Maybe he/she did something wrong.  How are we going to prove it?

3. Let's get the person to self incriminate.  Get a video.  Ask for a video nicely - imply it is just a step for the warranty to work.

4.  I am so grateful I got the video.  Now we definitely don't have to warranty this.

5.  Next.


Our RadCity 5 Plus battery stopped charging after the first trip. The RadRover 6 Plus that we got a few weeks earlier was fine. While I read the fine print and plugged in the battery to the charger first, those Rad bikes are the only devices that need charging and that require to do so (incl. my PHEV car and portable battery based generators).

Anyway, support asked me to send a video, which I did (showing the correct plug in order) and they send me a new battery. No RMA for the old one, so I replaced the fuse and it's as good as new and we ended up with a nice spare battery.

While some effort, replacing the fuse is not rocket science. But everybody in engineering on the semi-integrated battery team should be fired. Bad design. Let hope the next gen more-semi-integrated battery has an externally accessible fuse again. Or even better a fuse that can be reset by the push of a button.

Before spending $600 for a new battery I would definitely try replacing the fuse.


I've never had to plug in the charger to the battery first then the charger to the wall until I bought a RAD bike. Seems like a bad design or designed to sell more batteries. Sounds like a Recall to me but I doubt that will happen. As time goes by there is more and more bad things with RAD products and service. More and more BBB complaints also.



Quote from: DirkM on June 28, 2022, 01:58:42 PMLet hope the next gen more-semi-integrated battery has an externally accessible fuse again
Unfortunately it got worse. Newer semi-integrated batteries with black shrink wrap use surface-mount fuses, which must be removed and replaced by soldering.


as a reminder, BOOB (Battery-Outlet-Outlet-Battery) is the subscribed method for charging.

That being said, it's really too bad the rep you spoke with felt losing a customer was more important than taking care of a customer.

I'd reach out again, and maybe you'll get a different person with a bit more understanding. If not, i definitely recommend the "oh, the new battery you sent isn't working either" route.


That is so scummy. I don?t know if you can do anything to escalate it, but that?s ridiculous. I would be put off of buying a Rad bike if I knew they 1) ship defective batteries, 2) won?t even fix the broken battery they sent you.

I use an outlet timer, it runs from 9pm - 9am when I want to balance the battery. So I effectively do the same thing as you, the battery is already plugged in, and then at 9pm it starts getting power.

Is that screenshot you added their reasoning for denying your claim? Because their charger should protect it against damage just from plugging it in.


Quote from: Tree on July 05, 2022, 09:41:54 AM
as a reminder, BOOB (Battery-Outlet-Outlet-Battery) is the subscribed method for charging.

I think Rad really needs to educate the public because the public is used to the other way.  Also, a few dollars or less of electric components could have prevented it.

I don't think this is the way people charge their cell phones.  I don't think this is the way people charge their cars in a public charging station (like you cannot turn off a public charging station). People don't do it for their computers. Power tool batteries are also charged with the charger already plugged in.  Rechargeable batteries are not done this way. Can you imagine if your cell phone or computer dies because you did not plug in to the wall second?

It is just a bad design that would get you a bad grade in engineering class. Nothing should die.  Operator error should be taken into account.  And if something should die, the 30-50 dollar charger should die first.  If a fuse should blow, a fuse in the charger should blow first.


I have had good experiences with  Rad. Is having the charger Being incompatible with the battery is rad behaving badly


Rad was a solid company now with this issue they are really headed
Down the wrong path - I?ve recommended personally at least 6 bikes and have been a fan but now I feel bad for a friend who tries on her rad city to commute and she?s stuck waiting for a resolution escalating up rad chain as they Said it was her fault for not following the fine print in the order of plugging in the battery to charge its absurd, 1/3 of the Cody of the bike is battery  -you would think the battery and charger wouldnhave red warning labels all over it - It?s practically on purpose to screw over customers and make them buy a brand new battery. Not having a serviceable fuse is also absurd.  I have two Ebikes in my garage one is rad and one is an offbrand Folding mountain bike with full suspension and regen I?ve used the 48 V charger on both interchangeably with without being plugged into the wall both have never been a problem with the rad mini four.