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At first, hoverboards seemed awesome and everyone wanted one. Lots of people bought them and the wheeled balance boards seemed poised to take off (as their name indicates). Sales were very strong, fueled by trendsetting celebrities adopting them, according to the Smithsonian.
At one point last year, there were thousands of boards coming into the country every day that didn't meet safety standards. But then bad news about hoverboards emerged: the lithium ion batteries catch on fire. It turned out that we are not yet ready for the future. Last week, more than half a million hoverboards were recalled.
The Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) refers to the products in question as self-balancing-scooters, perhaps in the hope of making them seem less glamorous and futuristic, or perhaps because this is a more accurate description. In any case, earlier in the year, the CPSC wrote an open letter to manufacturers.
The agency reported that self-balancing scooters were, all too often, not meeting voluntary safety standards. In less than three months, it received complaints from 56 consumers in 24 states about the products catching on fire. The CPSC warned importers that any boards failing to meet voluntary safety standards risked seizure. In other words, the agency was saying it won't pay to import just any product as fast as possible.
Consider Yourself Warned
According to the Smithsonian, this warning from the agency ended up scaring online retailers too. Amazon and Overstock both reportedly pulled the products from their sites. American Airlines and Delta also banned the boards on airplanes, probably for fear that they would ignite in flames.
You should do the same. That is, retire your board until its future seems more certain. Last week, the CPSC recalled more than a half million of these self-balancing scooters from a slew of different brands, reporting at least 99 fire incidents. The agency urged consumers to contact manufacturers for a refund, repair, or replacement.
Talk to a Lawyer
If you have been injured on a hoverboard or due to any other defective product, speak to a lawyer. Many attorneys consult for free or a minimal fee an will be happy to assess your case.