Lime scooters in Switzerland are braking suddenly by themselves

Lime has hit the brakes on its operations in Switzerland, after its scooters began doing the same to passengers.

The fast-growing company, which recently launched in New Zealand, has pulled its entire fleet from Basel and Zurich to conduct safety checks.

"We have been made aware of cases in which users report that during their rides, sudden brake manoeuvres take place, leading to crashes," the company said in a notice sent to users.

"The security of our users is our top priority, and this is why we decided at the start of this week to pull in all devices and do a thorough security and quality check on them."

It's not clear yet if the malfunction is being caused by a software or hardware fault. It's suspected the scooters may be trying to update their software mid-ride, causing them to turn off and lock the brakes.

"We are testing each device thoroughly to ensure that no software or hardware issues remain."

Users will get a free 15-minute credit when - and if - the service resumes.

There are an estimated 550 scooters on Swiss streets.

Since the New Zealand launch in October, ACC says it has paid out more than $200,000 thanks to scooter-related injuries - but not all would have been from Lime users, with e-scooter sales also on the rise.

Lime scooters can reportedly reach speeds of up to 27km/h.

"Electric scooters can be ridden on footpaths, roads and separated cycleways - that means they share their path with people, cars and bikes - so safety considerations must be a priority," Auckland Transport chief executive Shane Ellison said earlier this week, when Lime's Auckland trial was extended.