Bad news for those who desire a Hoverboard this holiday season as Amazon’s UK division has asked some customers to get rid of their hoverboards, this is as a result of safety concerns, for example defective lithium-ion batteries have overheated, thereby causing hoverboards to catch fire or even explode. This has sparked up investigation into the product, as of November 30, 2015 A family claimed their board exploded, due to an untested, faulty lithium ion battery, and burned down their house, also a 15-year-old boy was struck dead on 10 December 2015 while riding a self balancing board in Alperton, London, UK. Countries such as Mecca, Germany, England etc has restricted the use of this device also.
We consider this a priority investigation. This is a popular holiday item and it’s going to be in a lot of consumers’ homes, and we’d like to quickly get to the bottom of why some hoverboards catch fire.
Hoverboards aka self-balancing scooter, is a portable, rechargeable battery-powered vehicle which consist of two wheels arranged side-by-side and joined by two small platforms which the rider stands. The device is controlled by the rider’s feet standing on the built-in gyroscopic, sensored pads. It became popular in 2015, following numerous celebrity appearances with it
Amazon stopped the sales of hoverboard because it believes they don’t comply with adequate safety standards, other online retail companies also such as Overstock.com has followed in the same practice along with some major airlines such as Delta, United, American, and British Airways have also banned passengers from bringing them on flights. Customers in the United States and United Kingdom who may have purchased the hoverboard have been asked to dispose it immediately in a recycling center at a location provided by the company upon which Amazon will refund the full price of the hoverboard to them, this notice came after Amazon removed lots of the product from its website.
The George Washington University also as a result of the recent concerns by the Consumer Product Safety Commission after it investigated the hoverboards for being a potential fire risk has announced that it’s going to ban self-balancing scooters, from its campus starting January 1st, 2016.
TIPS TO HELP REDUCE THE RISK OF AN INCIDENT
As the investigation is been carried out, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman, Elliot F. Kaye has given tips on reducing the risk of incidents while using a hoverboard;
- Avoid buying the product at a location (like a mall kiosk) or on a website that does not have information about who is selling the product and how they can be contacted if there is a problem. If you do not think you could find the seller again, were a problem to arise with your board, that should be a warning to you not to do business with them.
- Do not charge a hoverboard overnight or when you are not able to observe the board.
- Charge and store in an open dry area away from combustibles (meaning items that can catch fire).
- Do not charge directly after riding. Let the device cool for an hour before charging.
- If giving a hoverboard to someone for the holidays, leave it in its partially charged state. Do not take it out of the package to bring it to a full charge and then wrap it back up. Often, the product comes partially charged. Leave it in that state until it is ready to be used.
- Look for the mark of a certified national testing laboratory. While this does not rule out counterfeits, the absence of such a mark means your safety is likely not a priority for that manufacturer.
- Do not ride near vehicular traffic.
- This tip needs to be reiterated: It is important to wear safety gear when using a hoverboard. We recommend the same safety gear that you would wear when riding a skateboard — a skateboard helmet, and knee and elbow pads and wrist guards for protection from falls
We know this is a popular product during this holiday season, and we are doing everything possible to determine if consumers are at risk. We will keep the public up-to-date with new information as it becomes available
He also adviced consumers to report incidents to CPSC via www.SaferProducts.gov.
Amazon is an American electronic commerce and cloud computing company with headquarters in Seattle, Washington. It is the largest internet based retailer in the US, which started as an online bookstore and diversified to sales of DVDs, Blu-rays, CDs, software, video games, toys and so much more. They produce consumer electronics like Fire tablets, Fire TV, Fire phones, Amazon kindle e-book reader and it is the world’s largest provider of cloud infrastructure service (laaS).