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Federal Regulator Investigating Hoverboards Hazards

If you or your child received a hoverboard for Christmas, you may want to reconsider whether it is safe to take it for a spin. Concerns regarding the product are growing amidst reports of injuries caused by both falls and exploding batteries.

At the start of the holiday seasons, hoverboards were considered one of the “hottest” gifts. However, the trendy toy is proving to be very dangerous. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there have been at least 22 reports of hoverboards catching fire. While many of the explosions occurred while the devices were charging, riders have also suffered burns from the hoverboard bursting into flames while riding.

Due to the risk of fire, most major airlines now prohibit passengers from bringing hoverboards on board. New York City relied on an existing law prohibiting motorized scooters to ban them from city streets. Online retailer Amazon has also removed most hoverboard models from its online store.

The CPSC is currently investigating whether the fires are tied to a safety defect. In a recent press statement, CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye also highlighted the fall risk associated with hoverboards. He stated that CPSC has received dozens of reports of emergency-room injuries, including concussions, fractures, contusions/abrasions, and internal organ injuries.

Kaye also expressed concern that there is no safety standard in place for hoverboards. “Retailers should always be asking their suppliers if there is an applicable safety standard in place before agreeing to sell those products. The absence of any standard should cause retailers to require extra proof of sound design, manufacturing and quality control processes,” he stated.

To address the numerous injury hazards associated with hoverboards, the CPSC offers a number of safety tips, such as wearing a certified helmet plus knee and elbow pads, purchasing from a reputable seller, and not charging hoverboards directly after riding.

Our product liability lawyers will continue to monitor injury reports, as well as the CPSC’s defect investigation. To learn how California is addressing hoverboard safety risks, please stay tuned for tomorrow’s post.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious harm due to a defective or dangerous product, you may be entitled to compensation. For more information, please contact a San Diego product liability attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.