In the past three months, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) received reports that 52 hoverboards caught fire, causing over $2 million in property damage. On February 18, 2016, the CPSC issued a letter to manufacturers, importers, and retailers of self-balancing scooters, urging them to either comply with safety standards, or face being recalled by the government.
In this letter, the CPSC urges that all hoverboards should comply with Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) safety requirements. In addition, the government requests that all lithium ion battery components must comply with industry accepted testing requirements for transporting dangerous goods (UN/DOT 38.3). The CPSC warns that scooters that do not meet these requirements “pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers” that can result in “injury or death.” The agency stated that the many reported incidents were likely a direct result of the manufacturer’s failure to comply with these safety standards.
The CPSC now officially considers all self-balancing scooters that do not meet these safety requirements to be “defective” and notes that they “may present a substantial product hazard…or could be determined to be an imminent hazard.” As a result, the CPSC will now seize non-compliant hoverboards at import and may recall non-compliant products from the market.
No hoverboard currently on the market meets the standards laid out by the CPSC. Although this letter is not an official recall, it will likely result in major manufacturers and retailers voluntarily recalling all hoverboards.
According to consumer safety director at UL, John Drengenberg, UL began testing hoverboards for safety compliance in February, but to date, none have been certified. UL has not yet provided an estimated date when a certified hoverboard might be released on the market.
If you own a non-UL-certified hoverboard, the CPSC advises that you contact the manufacturer and request a refund. The agency further recommended that consumers stop using their uncertified hoverboards and never charge the battery again.
The CPSC reminds manufacturers, importers, distributors and retailers that if they fail to report evidence that a product in the chain of commerce is defective and dangerous, they may face civil and criminal penalties.
New Jersey Product Liability Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Represent Victims Injured By Defective Hoverboards
If you or someone you love has been injured or suffered property damage as a result of a defective hoverboard, you may be entitled to money damages. We represent injured consumers throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Union Beach and Neptune. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today.