NYC Scooter Store Raided: ‘Frankenstein Batteries’ Often Blamed in Fires but Owner Claims Everything Came from China!
Cybersecdn– A Queens-based scooter shop finds itself at the center of controversy following a raid by the FDNY, revealing the clandestine production of illegal and highly hazardous “Frankenstein batteries.” Wilson Scooters, located in Forest Hills, came under scrutiny after concerned community members alerted authorities to their suspicious activities.
In a meticulously coordinated operation, the Lithium-Ion Task Force, comprising Fire Marshals, the Bureau of Fire Prevention, and the Department of Consumer and Worker Protection, descended upon the shop, uncovering a cache of approximately 60 battery packs, hundreds of individual lithium-ion cells, and a significant inventory of electric scooters and mopeds.
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh minced no words in underscoring the severity of the situation, reiterating the grave dangers posed by unregulated and tampered-with batteries. Describing these as “Frankenstein batteries,” Kavanagh stressed their potential to cause harm, even death, emphasizing the urgency of addressing such illicit practices.
Wilson Chang, the owner of the embattled establishment, vehemently denied any wrongdoing, asserting that all materials were procured from reputable sources in China. Despite his assertions, authorities issued several violations, including storing altered and repaired batteries, failure to comply with fire safety regulations, and other electrical hazards.
Chang’s defense rested on the belief that Chinese batteries were of superior quality compared to their American counterparts, lambasting authorities for what he perceived as a lack of education regarding proper battery installation techniques.
However, Fire Commissioner Kavanagh was unwavering in her condemnation of such practices, citing recent incidents, including a fire in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, triggered by a lithium-ion battery, which left two firefighters injured and caused extensive property damage.
The ramifications of such incidents extend beyond property damage, with tragic consequences witnessed in a November fire that claimed the lives of three members of a Brooklyn family. The inferno, fueled by a lithium-ion battery, engulfed their residence, leaving little chance of escape.
The raid on Wilson Scooters serves as a stark reminder of the critical need for stringent regulation and oversight within the battery production industry. As authorities continue their crackdown on illicit activities, the broader public is urged to exercise caution and remain vigilant against the dangers posed by unregulated batteries.