More Than 500,000 Hoverboards Recalled Due to Fire, Explosion Risk

By Denisse Moreno, Epoch Times
July 6, 2016 Updated: July 6, 2016    

All hoverboards from 10 different companies are being recalled immediately after reports of dangerous incidents involving the self-balancing scooters.

The “Made in China” lithium-ion battery packs in the hoverboards may overheat and can cause the products to produce smoke, catch fire and/or explode, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced July 6.

The agency says consumers should contact the companies recalling the products, including, Swagway X1, Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider and X Rider, Powerboard, Hype Roam, and iMoto, online or by phone.

The CPSC warns customers against using hoverboards and suggest consumers to contact companies for a full refund, a free repair, or a free replacement—depending on the model.

The recall affects about 501,000 hoverboards manufactured in China. The self-balancing scooters were sold nationwide and online from June 2015 through May 2016 for between $350 and $900.

The hoverboards have caused 99 reported incidents regarding their battery packs overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire and/or exploding, including reports of burn injuries and property damage, says they CPSC.

In one incident, a $1 million home in Nashville was completely destroyed by a fire, with two teens barely escaping.

A home in Nashville which burned down after a hoverboard caught fire on Feb. 8. (Nashville Fire Department)
A home in Nashville which burned down after a hoverboard caught fire on Feb. 8. (Nashville Fire Department)

Before the recall, hoverboards have already built up a bad reputation, and had been gradually taken off the market and off the streets.

In February, Walmart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, decided to stop selling hoverboards on its website.

Walmart joined other retailers, such as Amazon, who had already banned the devices. Walmart said it would not sell the hoverboards until manufacturers observe federal safety standards.

The move came just months after the retailer started selling the product.

In this Oct. 21, 2015 file photo, a young man rides a hoverboard down a Manhattan street toward the Empire State Building in New York. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
A young man rides a hoverboard down a Manhattan street toward the Empire State Building in New York, Oct. 21, 2015. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

In New York City last year, hoverboards were declared illegal on streets, highways, parking lots, or even sidewalks. Riders could potentially face a fine of up to $200, if caught.

The New York City public transportation system also began a campaign against the item.

“You cannot bring one into the subway, onto a bus, nor into rail cars or stations,” posters around the subway said. “Hoverboards may be the latest fad, but they are not safe because they have the potential to catch fire.”

The posters were put up about a month after the MTA, which runs the city’s transportation systems, announced a hoverboard ban.

The full list of recalled hoverboards can be found here.

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