It’s not an urban legend. You might’ve heard that hoverboards are catching fire, and you might even own one, but you need to be assured that it is true. At the beginning of April, the Orlando Sentinel reported a hover board catching fire in an Orange County apartment complex. Fortunately, this sprinklers did their jobs and though the three apartments had water damage, nobody was injured or hospitalized. In fact, there is even footage of one of the devices bursting into flame after only three days use – with the owner narrowly escaping injury. A Louisiana family lost their home to the same hazard after a 12-year-old boy’s hoverboard purchased from Amazon shot flames from both ends, and ended up burning down the family’s home. The Consumer Product Safety Commission is now investigating fires in 19 states that are tied to the devices, has declared them to be categorically unsafe, and airlines now refuse to transport the devices in carry-on and checked baggage. Not even the Underwriters Laboratory UL Mark should be taken as a sign of safety, as the laboratory has numerous instances in which the UL is counterfeited on two battery packs, hover boards, power supplies and adapters, and other parts.
Back at the end of 2015, hoverboards were possibly the hottest present that everyone wanted to put under their tree. While some companies have issued recalls and offered refunds, the manufacturers themselves are harder to get a hold of. These items were largely built in China by multiple manufacturers, distributed in the US by large numbers of limited liability companies – many of them no bigger than a shopping mall kiosk – while others […]