Consumer Product Safety Commission investigating hoverboards

It was supposed to be “the” gift for Christmas last year. Just before the gift-giving holiday, though, reports started coming in about the hoverboard bursting in to flames when charging. That was quickly followed by video compilations of people falling when using the hoverboard.

According to the chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have 39 reported instances of fires occurring in 19 states. The fire hazard is related to the batteries, but the chairman is also concerned about the number of people who have been seriously injured. He said the Commission is looking into the design of the hoverboard to see if the risk of falling is more than just because of inexperience or user error. He wants to know if there is a hidden hazard. In the meantime, he said that it’s important to use safety gear, such as a helmet, when using the hoverboard.

Children and adults have been admitted to hospitals across the country because of serious injuries suffered after falling off a hoverboard.

Underwriters Laboratories has issued a statement, saying, “To date, UL has yet to certify any hoverboards for safety. For technology such as hoverboards that use lithium-ion batteries, it is important to understand the interaction among components.” The safety-testing organization said that the presence of the UL logo on the product is not an indication of the safety of the product. In fact, it could be a sign that the product is counterfeit.

Amazon is giving full refunds on this dangerous product and CPSC officials hope other retailers will do the same.

If you have suffered an injury because of a fire caused by a hoverboard or because of a fall, you may want to seek advice from a product liability lawyer. He or she can inform of the options for legal action against the many manufacturers of hoverboards.

Source: Consumer Affairs, “Amazon offering hoverboard refunds as feds probe safety concerns,” James R. Hood, Jan. 21, 2016