US Warns of Hoverboard Crackdown, Citing Fire Concern | NECN

US Warns of Hoverboard Crackdown, Citing Fire Concern

Regulators say they will seize or recall any of the two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters if they fail to meet new safety standards

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The federal government is cracking down on hoverboards. Hoverboards have been implicated in at least 50 fires in 24 states. The Consumer Product Safety Commission thinks the problem is how the devices' lithium-ion battery packs interact with circuit boards inside the units. (Published Friday, Feb. 19, 2016)

    The Consumer Product Safety Commission has updated its opinion on hoverboards.

    In a letter to manufacturers, importers and retailers, U.S. regulators said they will seize or recall any of the two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters, which were a huge hit this holiday season, if they fail to meet recently released safety requirements.

    The safety agency says only hoverboards with a UL sticker, symbolizing approval from Underwriters Laboratory, will be considered safe from this point forward. There are no hoverboards with UL approval.

    The Internet is littered with photos and videos of hoverboards on fire and spewing black smoke.

    The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in its letter issued Thursday noted 52 reports of fires that users say were caused by hoverboards in 24 states. Those fires led to $2 million in property damage, including destruction of two homes and an automobile. It said many of those incidents would not have happened if the hoverboards met existing standards.

    The CPSC said it wants the hoverboard industry to follow requirements set earlier this month by UL, an independent company that tests the safety of products for manufacturers.

    Concerns that lithium-ion batteries inside the hoverboards could spark a fire have led to bans by several airlines and college campuses.

    The CPSC revealed last month that it was investigating hoverboard makers and sellers. Amazon.com Inc. also offered full refunds for customers who bought a hoverboard through the site.