CPSC: 500,000+ Hoverboard Recalls Over Spontaneous Explosions and Fires
There are more than 500,000 hoverboards being recalled due to the possibility of explosions or fires.
The devices, which really don’t hover, were a really popular Christmas gift last holiday season. There were numerous online videos of people using the devices, with many of these videos showing people falling off the new gadgets. Still, the hoverboards made real news with the problem of catching fire… even when not in use.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, several retailers and hoverboard manufacturers have issued a recall and said many of the unrecalled devices should be thrown out to protect the consumers.
The CPSC said there were around 100 incidents of the battery packs overheating, smoking, sparking, catching fire and/or exploding, which had led to both property damage and burn injuries.
Concerned hoverboard owners can visit the CPSC website to find out which devices out of the approximately 501,000 are being recalled. All were sold within the last year, costing around $350 to $900. The CPSC has advised folks to quit using their hoverboard if it’s found to be on the list, and get in contact with the company to learn what it’s doing to remedy the problem. The retailer or manufacturer may offer a refund, replacement or repair.
For those hoverboards not yet on the list, Elliot Kaye, chairperson of the CPSC said hoverboard owners can call the manufacturer or retailer to get their money back. A manufacturer should be able to prove the device is certified as safe from the Underwriters Laboratories. If a device cannot be verified, it’s just a fire waiting to happen.
Third parties can sell hoverboards on Alibaba.com and AliExpress.com, and will from this point on, be certified by a testing agency. That’s the word from the CPSC.
When reports were be publicized about the hoverboards self-combusting, Jay Whitacre, a materials science and engineer professor from Carnegie Mellon University, said the lithium-ion batteries include a flammable electrolyte. In the majority of products, they’re safe, and that goes for hoverboards.
He said the batteries that are made from poor quality materials and powerful are the ones that are the most dangerous. He said many of the hoverboard manufacturers are making the boards using second-tier battery sources that have a high defective rate. He said if something were to go wrong with these types of batteries, it could be bad.
Whitacre tells hoverboard users not to overcharge the device, and never inside the home. Depending on the model, hoverboard owners could get a refund if they send their board back.
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