U.S. agency deems hoverboards unsafe

Georgia residents who purchased a hoverboard over the 2015 holiday season may soon be hearing about a product recall. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the products are unsafe, and manufacturers must be safety certified before they can sell any more.

A letter from the acting director of the Office of Compliance and Field Operations cited 52 reports in 24 states between Dec. 1, 2015 and Feb. 17, 2016 of fires caused by the hoverboards. Two houses and a vehicle were among the more than $2 million in property losses that resulted from the fires.

The letter to manufacturers, importers and retailers urged compliance with the safety standards and requirements set out by Underwriters Laboratory Inc. in UL 2272-Outline of Investigation for Electrical Systems for Self-Balancing Scooters. The letter also said that the lithium ion battery that is used in the hoverboards must be in compliance with UN/DOT 38.3 Transport of Dangerous Goods for Lithium Ion and Lithium Ion Batteries. The organization said that any products that do not meet this safety standard should be considered defective, and the agency staff plans to follow up on manufacturers.

The sale of hoverboards is one example of a new product that came on the market, became a big seller quickly and rapidly was shown to be unsafe. Although only significant property damage has resulted from the faulty product so far, a person could also be seriously injured or killed using it. A person who purchases a product that malfunctions and causes property damage or personal injury may want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation from the manufacturer or distributor.

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