After millions of so-called hoverboards – gyroscopically stabilized skateboard-type devices – were sold during the holidays, questions have been raised as to their safety. The United States Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) is currently investigating more than a dozen different hoverboard manufacturers after complains were filed that the devices caught on fire.
Some of the hoverboard manufacturers and devices being investigated by the CPSC include:
- E-Rover Smart Balance Wheel
- Smart Balance Wheel – One Stop Electronic, Inc.
- Smart Balance Wheel Scooter – Glide Boards
- Smart Balance Wheel – Luxiyan
- Hover-way Hands-Free Electric – Digital Gadgets LLC
- Swagway Hands-Free Smart Board – Swagway LLC
- iMoto – Keenford Limited
- Smart Balance Board – I Lean Hoverboards
- Smart Balance Wheels – Kateeskitty.com
According to a press statement from CPSC Chairman Eliot Kaye, investigators are working to determine why so many different models have caught on fire. Engineers and safety professionals are investigating whether the primary cause is a defect in the controlling circuit boards or an issue with the battery packs. Properly-designed hoverboards should have safety features in place to prevent an overload resulting in a fire.
The second prong of the CPSC’s investigation is working to determine whether properly-functioning hoverboards pose a significant risk of causing a hazard when riders take a tumble during the operation of the devices. The CPSC has received reports of a significant increase in emergency room visits by people who fell while operating a hoverboard.
“Many might dismiss a fall from a hoverboard as an inherent risk associated with operating this class of device,” said Chairman Kaye. “Our mission is to determine whether design flaws in the product pose a significantly elevated risk to operators that rise from hidden hazards such as high-speed velocity changes programmed into the device. We know that some people will fall while riding any form of transportation such as a hoverboard but we have seen some evidence that a number of fall injuries resulting from the correct operation of a hoverboard should not have occurred.”
If you or a member of your family have been injured while operating a hoverboard, or if a hoverboard that you own caught on fire, it may be a prudent step to contact a lawyer. An experienced accident or products liability attorney can help protect your rights and potentially recover damages from a negligent hoverboard manufacturer.