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Design Defects Prompt Massive Hoverboard Recall

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recently announced the recall of more than 500,000 self-balancing scooters by 10 different manufacturers. The products, more commonly known as hoverboards, have serious design defects that can result in serious injuries and property damage.

As we have previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, hoverboards were a popular holiday gift in 2015. However, most of the products currently in the hands of consumers are inherently unsafe.

According to the recall notice, the lithium-ion battery packs in the hoverboards can overheat. This creates a serious risk of the products smoking, catching fire, and/or exploding. To date, the CPSC has investigated more than 60 hoverboard fires in more than 20 states that resulted in more than $2 million in property damage. While many of the explosions occurred while the devices were charging, riders have also suffered burns from the hoverboard bursting into flames while riding.

In response to the fire risks associated with hoverboards, the CPSC worked to establish safety standards for hoverboards. Hoverboards must now be certified by Underwriters Laboratories, which established electrical safety requirements for these products.

“Let me be clear about this — all of the hoverboard models included in this recall were made with fundamental design flaws that put people at real risk. They were made and sold without a safety standard in place. Two hazard patterns quickly developed. One involving falls, which could have been anticipated, and one involving fires, which definitely was not,” said CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye.

The hoverboards being recalled were sold from June 2015 through May 2016 for between $350 and $900. The list of specific brands/models can be found on the CPSC's website.

The CPSC advises that consumers should immediately stop using these recalled products and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair, or a free replacement.

If your child or someone you love has been seriously injured by a defective product, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego personal injury attorney at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation.