Self-balancing scooters, or hoverboards as they are commonly known, were a popular gift item in North Carolina during the 2015 holiday season. However, a rash of electrical fires related to the devices have caused more than $2 million in property damage and attracted the attention of regulatory agencies. Now stricter manufacturing standards will be applied to the hoverboards, and companies that do not comply may find their ability to reach the American market severely impinged.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has released a letter declaring the hoverboards to be unsafe. The manufacturers of self-balancing scooters will be required to get UL certification or risk having the sale of their products forbidden, their imports barred and recalls demanded for products that were already sold.
More than 50 incidents involving hoverboards that caught fire were reported between Dec. 1, 2015 and Feb. 17, 2016. At least one car and two homes were destroyed by fires that sprang from the devices. The fires appeared to have their origins in the battery and electrical components of the hoverboards. The CPSC has stated its belief that the fires would be largely prevented if the manufacturers followed UL safety standards in the production of the devices.
Manufacturers of defective or dangerous products can be named as defendants in a products liability lawsuit brought by plaintiffs who have been harmed by these devices. Other potential defendants could include the distributors and retailers of the product. Attorneys who have experience in this area of the law can often provide counsel to those who have been harmed.
Source: Tech Crunch, “U.S. Government Says Hoverboards Are Verboten”, John Biggs, Feb. 19, 2016