The dream of gliding around the streets like Michael J. Fox in "Back to the Future" is turning into a nightmare for some. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is warning people that their hoverboard might not be safe to use.
Reports of hoverboards catching on fire have been around for quite a while. Now a handful of manufacturers, distributors and retailers have coordinated with the CPSC to issue an official recall. Over half a million of the self-balancing scooters from some of the biggest brands on the market are being recalled due to fire hazards.
501,000 hoverboards recalled
The CPSC says the fire hazard comes from the lithium-ion battery packs used in the hoverboards. They can potentially overheat, which could cause the product to smoke, catch on fire and/or explode. Nearly 100 incidents of overheating battery packs have been reported, causing injuries and over $2 million dollars worth of property damage. Click here to see photos of a mansion that was burned to the ground because of a hoverboard fire.
Consumers are being urged to stop using the recalled products immediately and to contact the recalling companies through their websites or call centers. Depending on the model, consumers will be given a full refund, a free repair or a free replacement.
One of the most popular hoverboard makers, Swagway, was hit the hardest by the recall. There are 267,000 of the Swagway X1 models being recalled.
Some of the other models being recalled are the Powerboard, Hype Roam, iMoto, Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooter, 2Wheelz, Back to the Future, and the Hovertrax. Click here for a complete list of affected brands, models and retailers on the CPSC site. You can also call the CPSC consumer hotline at 800-638-2772 to see if your hoverboard is part of the recall.
Overstock.com isn't taking any chances with hoverboards sold on its site. To be safe, all of the 4,300 hoverboards sold on Overstock are being recalled. Boscov's, a retail store in Reading, Pennsylvania, is also recalling all of the 1,300 Orbit models that it has sold.
The CPSC is advising consumers to only buy hoverboards that are certified as being safe by Underwriters Laboratories.