These days it seems the only thing going for hoverboards is their catchy name. However, as most already know, these boards don’t actually hover and furthermore there are very serious safety problems plaguing the product. The self-balancing boards have been on the radar for safety regulators like Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) an array of reason. The most spectacular and potentially most serious reason is the board’s unfortunate likelihood to catch fire or explode. However, CPSC has also become increasingly concerned about the fall risk because, “the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching in a manner that a user would not have reason to anticipate.” According to CPSC, this propensity has resulted in increasing numbers of head and traumatic brain injury reports.
CPSC Issues New Warnings Against Hoverboards & Lists Boards Under Active Investigation
CPSC states that Hoverboard safety is a “priority investigation.” It also states that the following boards are under active investigation for fire and other safety risk:
- E-Rover-Mini Smart Balance Scooter/LeCam Technology
- DEYA LED/E-Rover Smart Balance Wheel /Shenzhen yuan jia jie Technology Co. Ltd
- Hover-way Hands-Free Electric/Digital Gadgets LLC
- iMOTO/Keenford Limited
- Smart Balance Board/I Lean Hoverboards
- Smart Balance Wheel/One Stop Electronic Inc.
- Smart Balance Wheel Scooter/Glide Boards
- Smart Balance Wheels/Kateeskitty
- Smart Balance Wheel/Luxiyan and
- Swagway Hands-Free Smart Board/Swagway LLC
However, the agency does state that appearance on this list does not indicate any determination regarding the board’s safety.
Furthermore, CPSC warns that since Underwriters Laboratories (UL) only recently announced that it would begin accepting hoverboards for testing, products currently featuring the UL symbol may be counterfeit. In the event that the product is not counterfeit, CPSC warned that the certification would only apply to certain component parts and not the unit as a whole.
CPSC also warns that while UL and ASTM International will soon begin work on safety standards, no standards currently exist for products of this type. The agency urges those who will use hoverboards despite the potential risks to always wear safety gear when doing so. Furthermore, users should keep a fire extinguisher on hand should the board malfunction causing the lithium ion battery to catch fire. Furthermore, the product should only be charged while attended and should be placed away from any flammable materials while charging.
Customs Officials Seize More Than 1,300 Counterfeit Hoverboards at Airport And Amazon Accepts Returns
One factor that may be exacerbating the fire risk presented by these products is the apparent steady stream of low-quality counterfeits flooding the U.S. market. These counterfeits are likely to use lower-quality parts and lithium batteries. These fakes may lack adequate power and overcharge controls making the battery more likely to overheat and explode. In other cases, the batteries themselves may simply be defective.
Illustrating the scope of the problem, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents recently seized a shipment of counterfeit hoverboards. 1,378 boards were seized. If genuine, these boards would have retailed for $447,000. The Seizure occurred at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York on February 19th. An earlier seizure of 16,000 low-quality knock-off hoverboards is the still the largest to date. This seizure occurred in Chicago. Furthermore, the News release by CBP indicates that many of these boards use false trademarks to fool consumers. While customs agents are keeping many of these low quality products out of the market thus preventing these potentially dangerous products from making it to the homes of American consumers, undoubtedly some are slipping through the cracks.
If you purchased a hoverboard and have become frightened by the potential for severe injury or a fire that can destroy a home, some retailers are accepting returns on the units. For one, Amazon has stated that it will accept returns. Local retailers may be willing to extend similar courtesy in light of the problems with this product.
Injured by a Hoverboard Fire or Fall? Contact Our Personal Injury Attorneys
If you’ve been injured by a defective product like a hoverboard that is not properly calibrated to account for a rider’s weight or one that catches on fire, you have options. Product liability laws in Arkansas and throughout the United States allow consumers to hold manufacturers accountable for the injuries and damages they cause. Contact Fayetteville AR personal injury lawyer Ken Kieklak by calling (479) 316-0438 today to schedule a free and confidential initial consultation.