U.S. Government Says Hoverboards are Unsafe

3316(2)In the last year, hoverboards have made a big splash among American consumers. They were one of the hottest gifts over the holiday season and they have become internet sensations thanks to videos posted by several celebrities as they road hoverboards.

But with all the fanfare has also come concerns about the functionality and safety of these devices which have been particularly population among children and teenagers. Reports from 24 states have been sent to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (“CPSC”) alleging 52 hoverboard-related fires that caused an estimated $2 million in property damages between December 1, 2015 and February 17, 2016. In those incidents, two homes and one car were destroyed.

The causes of these fires have not been determined definitively but the CPSC suspects that lithium-ion batteries may be playing a part. To that end, the CPSC has promulgated new voluntary safety regulations related to these hoverboards, often called self-balancing scooters, and has sent the new standards to several major manufacturers. In the interim, CPSC continues to test various models and analyzes these products to determine what risks they pose to consumers as well as what can be done to reduce, if not eliminate that risk.

Lithium-ion batteries are commonly used in many electronic devices here in Arizona and in the rest of the country. They are particularly popular in cell phones, tablets, and laptop computers but can also be found in digital cameras. They are also being used in some electric cars and in the aerospace industry making them a versatile and powerful form of energy. But they are prone to overheating, an issue addressed by some manufacturers who have taken steps to control battery temperatures to prevent spontaneous fires or explosions by consumer devices.

Until all safety issues are rectified, consumers are left wondering what options they have. Many paid a lot of money for these self-balancing scooters and are not thrilled with the idea that merely possessing them could lead to physical and/or financial harm.

Some manufacturers have extended the time frame for allowing people to return their hoverboards, allowing users the flexibility to rid themselves of these devices without suffering financially. Others have opted for a “wait-and-see” approach, allowing users with problems in their individual products to return them but not granting that right to those with working boards.

If you or someone you love was injured in an accident involving a hoverboard, you may be entitled to bring a claim for your damages including any medical expenses you incur. The facts of any incident vary so it is important to understand how they affect your ability to seek relief.

If you have questions about an accident that happened in Phoenix or in the surrounding areas, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes, P.C. want to help you. We offer a case consultation without obligation to victims and their family members who call us toll free at (855) PHX-LAWYER or locally at (602) 819-5191 and we have a lawyer standing by 24/7 to take your call.

If we represent you in your case, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf and we will advance all case-related expenses.

Prior Blog Entry:

Sleepiness Blamed for at least 83,000 Car Accidents Annually, Phoenix Injury Lawyer Blog, published March 2, 2016.

Resource:

Hoverboards Deemed Unsafe by U.S. Safety Agency, by Denise Johnson, Claims Journal, published February 26, 2016.

Photo Credit: Kerem Yucel, freeimages.com