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Amazon Pulls Hoverboards: Fire Hazard Concerns Shelve Some Devices

Image: Amazon Pulls Hoverboards: Fire Hazard Concerns Shelve Some Devices
A youth poses as he rides a hoverboard, which are also known as self-balancing scooters and balance boards, on October 13, 2015, in Knutsford, England. (Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 14 Dec 2015 02:53 PM

Amazon has reportedly started pulling some hoverboards from its online listings over concerns that some of the devices are prone to bursting into flame.

"Amazon just sent out a notice to all 'hoverboard' sellers to 'provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger),'" one manufacturer, Swagway, said in a statement to The Verge.

"Swagway already meets all those certifications and is happy that Amazon has decided to take steps to weed out the low quality boards. As safety is always on the forefront for Swagway, we're glad that this is taking place, especially in light of recent concerns with the fires with the poor quality batteries," the statement continued.

NBC News reported that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received "at least 10" recent reports of hoverboard fires, according to Consumer Product Safety Commission spokesman Scott Wolfson. 

"CPSC is looking into the safety of the entire product line," he said. "We are taking the position that if there is an incident . . . we are working to open an investigation right away."

"This is a high-priority investigation by the agency. We know how popular the product is. We know consumers are giving the product as a gift during the holidays," he added.

Along with Amazon's manufacturer vetting, Overstock.com announced Thursday it would stop selling the self-balancing devices altogether.

"With the continued emergence of news reports highlighting safety concerns with 'hoverboard' self-balancing electric scooters, we have made the decision to remove all similar products from our website as a precautionary measure," Overstock.com general counsel and senior vice president Mitch Edwards said in a press release.

Internationally, U.K. officials announced last week it has seized many thousands of the hoverboards during import, citing safety concerns.

The CPSC currently advises those seeking to purchase a hoverboard do three things: look for the mark of an independent lab that has tested the product (such as UL, for Underwriters Laboratories); don't charge the device overnight; do not charge the device and then wrap it as a present.

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Amazon has reportedly started pulling some hoverboards from its online listings over concerns that some of the devices are prone to bursting into flame.
amazon, pulls, hoverboards, fire, hazard
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2015-53-14
Monday, 14 Dec 2015 02:53 PM
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