Hoverboards — a.k.a self-balancing scooters or rideables — are the latest fad, but many of the cheaper models are proving to be unsafe.
From America to Asia, consumers have been purchasing hoverboards, and the market is being flooded with budget friendly versions prior to Christmas.
Now there are reports — from Hong Kong, the U.K., and America — that some of these battery-powered skateboards have exploded into flames.
It’s also been found that the bulk of the hoverboards being imported into the U.K. don’t meet safety standards.
See this video report from ABC News about how hoverboards may be a potential fire hazard:
Given safety concerns, some retailers in the EU have issued product recalls, and consumers have been warned to be vigilant when buying a hoverboard, reports The Guardian.
Thousands of the self-balancing scooters have even been impounded in the U.K. by port authorities because they failed safety tests. The U.K. Trading Standards said that 17,000 imported hoverboards were examined over a seven week period, and it was discovered that 15,000 (88 percent) failed basic safety checks.
“Criminals and irresponsible manufacturers will often exploit high demand, and attempt to flood the market with cheap and dangerous products,” said Leon Livermore, Chairman of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute.
“Some products that are made abroad, principally for the overseas market, are not fitted with the correct plug and fuse for use in the U.K.,” he said, according to The Guardian.
Meanwhile, officialdom in many countries are now regulating hoverboard use in public, with some countries banning them from roads and footpaths.
Selling between $270 and $2,000, the average top speed of a hover board is around 10 miles per hour, reports CNBC.
For the young and skilled, hoverboards are easy to master, but they have their limitations, especially on uneven or wet surfaces.
See the video in full of the hoverboard that spontaneously combusted in the U.S. from Mashable News :