Hoverboards started out as the "future of personal transportation." With a tagline like that, it should come as no surprise that these cool new gadgets were one of the holiday season's hottest gifts.
But the gadgets are so hot, many have caught fire. Literally. Well, the knockoff versions anyway, as we've seen with numerous examples, posted online and at Komando.com. The boards are also responsible for several injuries from falls.
Luckily, Amazon announced that it will be refunding any and all hoverboards bought on the site, and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) couldn't be happier, praising the online retail giant in an official statement.
The CPSC has already launched investigations into 13 different hoverboard makers and 39 different cases of exploding and burning hoverboards. In most cases, the CPSC suspects that the problem lies within the boards' batteries. Evidence shows that the lithium ion batteries often overheat while the gadgets are charging.
CPSC chairman Elliot F. Kaye noted in the statement that there are also no safety standards for hoverboards. Another concern on top of fire is the fact that the gadgets don't consider weight fluctuations between different users.
On top of that, hospitals across the country are reporting a spike in visits related to falls, which includes both children and adults, serious and life-threatening.
A statement from the CPSC chairman Elliot F. Kaye says:
"As encouraged as I am by Amazon’s actions, I expect other retailers and manufacturers of hoverboards to take action and offer a full refund now to their customers as well. I also expect responsible large-volume online sellers in particular to stop selling these products until we have more certainty regarding their safety."
In order to get your refund, all you need to do is contact Amazon Customer Service. In the meantime, if you wish to hang onto your hoverboard, the CPSC has released these safety tips:
- Have a working fire extinguisher nearby while charging or using these boards.
- Charge in an open area away from combustible materials.
- Gear up before riding, which means putting on a skateboard helmet, elbow and knee pads and wrist guards.
- And, do not use a hoverboard on or near a road.