This year, we all got a little closer to living out our futuristic dreams of personal hovercrafts as promised in many movies from the 1980’s. However, this dream became a bit further away after many of the hoverboards that sent a craze through the nation began to catch fire.
Last week, one of the sought-after self-balancing electronic scooters caught fire in a shopping mall located in Washington State. While no one was injured, it caused panic about the safety of the device. Although no parts have been fully proven to be the cause of the fire, experts are concerned about the batteries and chargers. It seems that leaving the device on the charger too long may be a culprit for overheating that may lead to combustion. It is also possible that there is a design flaw. When the hoverboard bumps into objects during regular use, this may cause the battery to take too much of the hit and result in damage.
Much like other big sellers for the holidays, the products are being manufactured in bulk from China, then resold to sellers in other countries. Due to the high demand, it is likely that cheaper parts are being used in order to meet the demand needs from consumers. However, due the the large size of the battery and potentially cut corners, there is concern for defective products and other dangerous results.
In early December, Britain’s trading standards authority found that up to 88% of the hoverboards manufactured outside of the EU had failed basic safety checks and has outlawed them from the public streets and sidewalks. In America, it is being recommended that those seeking a hoverboard for Christmas or personal use not buy hoverboards directly from outside the states, as they are regularly not passing safety regulations.
Amazon has heded these warnings and has removed all five of the hoverboards previously retailed on the website, marked around $300 a piece. Previously, the scooters had been reviewed by BestReviews. Instead, the website is recommending consumers not purchase any of the devices until further investigation proves them safe for public use.
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