Half a million hoverboards recalled in US

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There are dozens of reports of hoverboard’s lithium-ion battery packs overheating

A major recall of hoverboards is under way in the US.

The callback affects China-made models sold under a variety of brands and affects about 501,000 units.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said it followed at least 99 incidents where battery packs had overheated.

In some cases they caught fire leading to burn injuries and property damage. Owners are being told to contact the companies responsible, which should fix the problem or issue a full refund.

Models involved include:

  • 267,000 Swagway X1s
  • 84,000 iMotos
  • 70,000 Powerboards
  • 28,000 Hovertraxs
  • 25,000 Hype Roams
  • 16,000 Hover-Ways

A spokeswoman for Swagway told the BBC that it would be retrofitting the X1s it received with new “UL-certified” battery packs.

“UL-Certification means that the product has been tested by Underwriters Laboratories, one of the largest consumer products testing labs in the world,” she explained.

“Please note that this does not affect any of the other models made by Swagway.”

Safety certificates

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said that the Chinese retailer Alibaba had given it a commitment that in the future it would require sellers to have safety check certificates for the hoverboards they sell via its sites.

However, the recall is not limited to kit sold via AliExpress.com and Alibaba.com.

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Seventeen of the reported overheating incidents involved Hover-Way scooters

The Overstock.com website, Boscov’s department stores and Yuka Clothing shops also sold some of the recalled stock.

Customers are also being asked to return a further 5,000 Swagway hoverboards distributed in Canada.

House fires

This is not the first time the self-balancing scooters have been flagged as a safety risk.

In December, the UK’s Trading Standards agencies seized more than 38,000 hoverboards it said were at danger of overheating after several house fires were blamed on the products. The authorities had already said it was an offence to ride them on pavements and roads.

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An overheated hoverboard was blamed for causing a house fire in London last year

In the US, Amazon pulled some boards from sale and began offering customers full refunds in January after the Consumer Product Safety Commission voiced its concerns.

A month later it stopped selling all examples of the product, but later returned some brands to sale.

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