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CPSC Issues New Requirements for Hoverboards

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is taking steps to address the fire risks associated with hoverboards. The agency recently published a letter to manufacturers, importers, and retailers of self-balancing scooters.

As previously discussed on this San Diego Injury Blog, hoverboards have been linked with several injury hazards. Most notably, there have been at least 52 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. The products are also responsible for more than $2 million in property damage, including the destruction of two homes and an automobile.

The CPSC is currently investigating whether the fires are tied to a safety defect. In the meantime, the regulator is also working to establish safety standards for hoverboards. The CPSC’s letter to hoverboard companies advises that hoverboards must comply with currently applicable voluntary safety standards, including all referenced standards and requirements contained in UL 2272 – Outline on Investigation for Electrical Systems for Self-Balancing Scooters. In addition, the CPSC’s letter states that all lithium ion battery products must comply with test requirements under UN/DOT 38.3 Transport of Dangerous Goods for Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries.

With regard to product liability, the CPSC’s letter indicates that it believes that the unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with hoverboard fires would be prevented if all products were manufactured in compliance with the referenced voluntary safety standards. Accordingly, the CPSC Office of Compliance and Field Operations considers self-balancing scooters that do not meet the above safety standards to be defective.

Because the CPSC believes noncompliant hoverboards may present a substantial product hazard, it may begin detaining and seizing products prior to entering ports in the United States. Domestically, the CPSC may require the recall of hoverboards that fail to meet the safety standards.

If you or someone you care about has suffered serious injury due to a hoverboard or other dangerous product, don’t hesitate to contact a San Diego injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Robert Vaage for a free consultation. Our legal team has successfully represented clients against manufacturers and distributors for more than 30 years.