Hoverboards recently became one of the hottest new toys in tech, but some consumers did not realize just how hot their new gadgets would turn out to be. Over half a million hoverboards are involved in a recent recall called for by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Those affected by the recall apparently have a propensity to overheating, catching fire and even exploding. The large size of the lithium-ion batteries used in these products are the hazardous materials leading to these dangers.
Despite the name’s implications, hoverboards do not actually hover above the ground, but instead balance on two wheels. Although enormously popular in Ohio, these tech gadgets are now banned from at least 60 airlines, certain universities and the shelves at Amazon warehouses. These bans are now followed by the recall, which was the result into over 60 fires caused by hoverboards. The property damage from the hoverboard fires is estimated to be $2 million, and does not even begin to account for person injuries.
Prior to the recall officially starting, the safety commission warned hoverboard manufacturers that their products must comply with the safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories Inc. — a safety science organization. Manufacturers were then warned that hoverboards that did not comply with the standards and that continued to create an unreasonable risk for fire would be involved in the recall. In total, 10 companies involved in the manufacturing and selling of these defective gadgets are affected.
New tech gadgets can be fun to purchase and play with, but consumers are rarely informed of the background and testing that went into these products before they hit the market. Often, hazardous materials and their risks are not obvious until Ohio consumers have already purchased and spent a great deal of time with these products. When injury or serious damage occurs because a manufacturer failed to properly assess a product for risks, victims can take action in the form of product liability claims. When navigated to a successful end, these suits can achieve just compensation for injury victims.
Source: scpr.org, “More than 500,000 hoverboards recalled over fire risk“, July 6, 2016