By Colleen Kave, J.D.
Ten firms have recalled around 501,000 self-balancing scooters, also known as hoverboards, because the lithium-ion battery packs in the hoverboards can overheat, posing a risk of the products smoking, catching fire, and/or exploding. Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye urged consumers in a press statement to respond to the recall immediately, referencing the more than 60 hoverboard fires in more than 20 states that have resulted in more than $2 million in property damage (CPSC Recall Notice, No. 16-218, July 6, 2016).
Chairman Kaye asserted that all of the recalled hoverboard models "were made with fundamental design flaws that put people at real risk. They were made and sold without a safety standard in place." While he commended UL for acting quickly to address the electrical system and battery pack problems in hoverboards, Chairman Kaye expressed further concern regarding the fall hazard also associated with the products, and he recommended that children and adults wear safety gear, including helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards, when riding hoverboards.
Incidents and injuries. There have been at least 99 incident reports of the battery packs in hoverboards overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire, and/or exploding, including reports of burn injuries and property damage.
Product description. This recall involves self-balancing scooters, commonly referred to as hoverboards. They have two wheels at either end of a platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs. Recalled hoverboards include the following retailers, brands and online firms:
- Recall 16-208 (July 6, 2016) — 4,900 Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooters recalled by PTX Performance Products USA of Irvine, California (Customers may contact PTX Performance Products toll-free at 844-837-7346 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday, or online at http://ptxperformance.com and click on "Recall.").
- Recall 16-209 (July 6, 2016) — 800 Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, Mobile Tech, Hover Shark, NWS, X Glider, and X Rider hoverboards recalled by Yuka Clothing of Miami, Florida (Customers may contact Yuka Clothing toll-free at 800-616-0765 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or email at [email protected].).
- Recall 16-210 (July 6, 2016) — 70,000 Powerboard hoverboards recalled by Hoverboard LLC of Scottsdale, Arizona (Customers may contact Hoverboard LLC at 800-750-6714 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m MT Monday through Friday or online at www.thepowerboard.com and click on "Recall Information.").
- Recall 16-211 (July 6, 2016) — 267,000 Swagway X1 hoverboards recalled by Swagway LLC of South Bend, Indiana (Customers may contact Swagway toll-free at 844-299-0625 from 9 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. CT Monday through Friday or online at https://swagway.com and click on "Product Recall.").
- Recall 16-212 (July 6, 2016) — 1,300 Orbit hoverboards recalled by Boscov’s of Reading, Pennsylvania (Customers may contact Boscov’s toll-free at 800-755-6391 from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. ET Monday through Saturday, on Sundays from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET, or online at Boscovs.com and click on "Customer Care" and then "Recall Notices.").
- Recall 16-213 (July 6, 2016) — 16,000 Hover-Way/Model # HWSBB601-R hoverboards recalled by Digital Gadgets LLC of Monroe, New Jersey (Customers may contact Digital Gadgets toll-free at 866-696-3421 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at hover-way.com and click on "Recall Notice.").
- Recall 16-214 (July 6, 2016) — 4,300 hoverboards recalled by Overstock.com of Salt Lake City, Utah (Customers may contact Overstock.com at 800-843-2446 from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. MT Monday through Friday or online at Overstock.com and click on "Customer Service" at the bottom of the page, then "Online Help Center," then "Hover Board Self-Balancing Electric Scooter Announcement.").
- Recall 16-215 (July 6, 2016) — 28,000 Hovertrax hoverboards recalled by Razor USA LLC of Cerritos, California (Customers may contact Razor toll-free at 866-467-2967 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or online at Razor.com and click on "CPSC Safety Recalls.").
- Recall 16-216 (July 6, 2016) — 84,000 iMoto hoverboards recalled by Keenford Limited of Hong Kong (Customers may contact Keenford Ltd. toll-free at 877-280-8401 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET Monday through Friday or online at www.imotohk.com or www.hoverboard360.com and click on "Recall Information.").
- Recall 16-217 (July 6, 2016) — 25,000 Hype Roam hoverboards recalled by Hype Wireless of Edison, New Jersey (Customers may contact Hype Wireless toll-free at 866-449-7186 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or online at www.hyperoam.com and click on "Recall.").
These hoverboards, which were manufactured in China, were sold by mass merchandisers nationwide and by online retailers from June 2015 through May 2016 for between $350 and $900.
Remedy. Consumers should stop using these recalled products immediately and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair, or a free replacement, depending on the model.
Companies: PTX Performance Products USA; Yuka Clothing; Hoverboard LLC; Swagway LLC; Boscov’s; Digital Gadgets LLC; Overstock.com; Razor USA LLC; Keenford Ltd.; Hype Wireless
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