Amazon decided to halt hoverboard sales today because of serious fire hazards associated with the hot products. USA Today reports that Swagway, a popular hoverboard manufacturer, confirmed that Amazon had stopped selling many of the products.
In a statement, Swagway revealed “As safety is on the forefront for Swagway, we applaud Amazon for taking these steps to weed out the low quality boards and want to note that this removal is not specific to Swagway, but includes 97 percent of the other branded hoverboards that were also selling on there.”
Amazon pulls some hoverboards from website as safety concerns mount https://t.co/GqdMO5Wsle
— L.A. Times News 24/7 (@latimesfirehose) December 14, 2015
A spokesperson from hoverboard segway personal mobility device maker IO Hawk said “When you take a look at the devices in some of the knockoffs that are being made right now, by some of these other manufacturers in China, it is very concerning. There’s a big disparity between our product and a lot of the other products.”
The CEO of IO Hawk seems to think that it’s primarily a problem with the battery. “When you see the construction of our device, the battery is supposed to be properly mounted,” he said. “The chargers that are used to charge the battery have to have the intelligence to shut itself off so it doesn’t overcharge, impregnate the battery, and potentially turn into a fire risk.
Enstars reports that major companies, such as Delta and American Airlines, have banned the product from flights, which could cause a major accident if the hoverboards combusted mid-flight.
— BBC Newsbeat (@BBCNewsbeat) December 14, 2015
After the halt on hoverboard sales, Amazon sent out a notice to all hoverboard manufacturers to provide proof demonstrating that they’re compliant with health and safety standards. This laser focus on batteries is something Delta has already begun looking into.
“Delta reviewed hoverboard product specifications and found that manufacturers do not consistently provide detail about the size or power of their lithium-ion batteries,” they said in a statement. “While occurrences are uncommon, these batteries can spontaneously overheat and pose a fire hazard risk.”
Swagway and IO Hawk are two companies that are both concerned about the health of consumers, but they’re also informing the public that their products are safety compliant.
Overstock recently pulled the same type of deal by halting all types of hoverboards thanks to safety complaints. Digiday reports this turn of events happened because of a few viral videos that showed hoverboards spontaneously bursting into flames.
In a recent press release, Overstock stated “Customer safety is always our top priority. With the continued emergence of news reports highlighting safety concerns with ‘hover board’ self-balancing electric scooters, we have made the decision to remove all similar products from our website as a precautionary measure.”
Most hoverboards are powered by lithium batteries, which are prone to overheating. The boards appear to be literally and metaphorically hot right now, being one of the most sought after holiday gifts. This, however, hasn’t stopped the New York City Police Department from apparently making them illegal to ride around the city.
Valuewalk reports that a brief overview of public documents shows that there are more than 10 reports of hoverboard fires spanning nine states in the past few months alone. Some of these accidents even led to serious injuries.
It’s unfortunate that major retailers have to stop selling one of the hottest gifts on the market, but what’s even more unfortunate are the amount of people that purchased them already, and might have to either return them or run the risk of injury.
[Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images]