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Federal Government Enforcing Safety Standards, Bans Hoverboards

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Federal Government Enforcing Safety Standards, Bans Hoverboards

After months of strong criticism of the arguably lax safety standards imposed by makers of hoverboards, the federal government has finally issued a ban on versions of the popular devices that place consumers at risk of serious injury.

Hoverboards were incredibly popular during the holidays, with many people receiving the self-balancing scooters as gifts in December. In the last few months, however, there have been numerous media reports about people being injured while using their hoverboards, either in slip & fall accidents or as a result of batteries exploding.

Now the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), which is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of injury and death associated with consumer products, has taken the drastic step of stipulating that law enforcement now has the authority to detain or seize hoverboards being used in public places. Beyond that, the CPSC did not rule out the possibility that it may issue a recall of all hoverboards.

The CPSC enlisted UL, a global independent safety science company previously known as Underwriters Laboratories, to determine whether hoverboards were safe for consumer use. The UL investigators rigorously tested a variety of hoverboards produced by various manufacturers and found that none of the different brands of hoverboards met the minimum threshold for safe use.

As media reports have documented in recent weeks and months, some hoverboards have been known to burst into flames when the devices’ lithium-ion batteries are charged. Robert Howell, the director of CPSC’s office of compliance and field operations, said that hoverboards “pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers.” According to some reports, hoverboards have already caused more than 50 fires and $2 million in property damage in the U.S. alone.

For more information on the federal government’s hoverboard ban, read the USA Today article, “Hoverboards May Be Seized or Recalled due to Fire Risk.”

 

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