Last week, Amazon.com pulled several brands of hoverboards from its US and UK websites due to safety concerns. Now, it has gone one step further, advising customers in the UK who purchased certain hoverboards to dispose of the defective devices.
Hoverboards are one of the most popular holiday gifts this year. People have described these self-balancing scooters as a Segway-without-the-stick. They are used recreationally by kids and adults, and also, as a mode of transportation for short trips.
There have been numerous reports in the news recently of hoverboards catching fire and spontaneously exploding. The cause of these fires is still under investigation. However, it appears that most incidents have occurred while the electric hoverboards are charging, although several fires and explosions have occurred while users were riding them. The issue appears to lie with the device’s lithium-ion battery, which can overheat and catch fire. The problem seems to occur most frequently in cheaper models, due to the poor quality of materials and a lack of safety testing.
In light of these reports, Amazon has contacted some customers in the UK by e-mail, urging them to dispose of certain devices purchased on their website at recycling centers that are certified to handle electrical waste. Amazon has stated that it will issue refunds within three days for the faulty boards. Amazon is now asking hoverboard manufacturers to provide documentation that their boards pass independent safety certification tests. Specifically, hoverboard manufacturers selling on Amazon must prove that their products have passed tests issued by UL, a private company that tests chargers and batteries for safety in the United States.
One popular brand of hoverboard, Swagway, claims that its boards are all UL certified. However, a Swagway brand board recently caught fire in Westchester, New York. A representative for UL has gone on the record stating that no brand of hoverboard has ever passed its tests.
Amazon has also sent e-mails to customers who have purchased other hoverboard models, with precautionary information about how to safely store and use products with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.
Several weeks ago, a search for “hoverboard” on Amazon.com in the United States yielded thousands of listings for devices manufactured by many different companies, including GalaxyBoard, Ameritoy, RunActiv, SanWay, Koozon, Swagway and many more. Now only a few manufacturers are represented on the site, primarily Razor and Jetson.
The Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Represent Victims of Faulty Hoverboards
If you have been injured by a defective or faulty hoverboard, or if you have suffered property damage, you need an experienced attorney to help you hold the responsible parties accountable. For a free consultation, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.