Federal safety officials are warning consumers to stop using certain hoverboard products, due to a potential risk that the lithium ion batteries may overheat and catch on fire, posing an increased risk of injury and property damage.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued the X1-5 Hoverboard warning earlier this month, after the manufacturer refused to issue a hoverboard recall the products, despite evidence of problems with the lithium-ion batteries when they are being charged.
The agency is asking consumers to stop using the New High-Tech Enterprise Company Inc. X1-5 hoverboard’s immediately, and to unplug any lithium-ion batteries from power sources due to their potential to overheat, and create a fire hazard that can lead to smoke inhalation or other serious injuries, including death.
The warning was issued after a report of an X1-5 hoverboard overheating and smoking. Since the incident report was filed, the CPSC sample tested one of the hoverboards in question, and discovered the product did not conform to the standards of the inspection by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), which is an independent, not-for-profit testing laboratory that conducts safety and quality tests on a broad range of consumer products.
Following the discovery, UL has withdrawn their approval, indicating the boards are not complaint with the UL2272 safety standard.
The CPSC announced the agency has asked High Tech Enterprise Company Inc. to recall the X1-5 hoverboards. However, the company has refused to follow their request.
As a result, the agency is warning customers to stop using and no longer charge the Balance Scooter Model X1-5 products manufactured by New High Tech Enterprise Company Inc.
Customers are being encouraged to report any incidents with the products to the agency hotline at 800-638-2772 or to submit them online through www.SaferProducts.gov.
Hoverboard Safety Concerns
Self-balancing scooters, more commonly known as hoverboards, have two wheels at either end of a platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs to move forward of backwards. The devices have been deemed hazardous and a hoverboard ban is in place against most models, due to the potential for many of the lithium ion batteries to have been cheaply made and pose overheating risks that can result in fires.
Since 2015, when the devices became popular across the U.S., the CPSC has received more than 100 reports of the lithium ion battery packs overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire or exploding. The agency investigated more than 60 fires reportedly started by hoverboards that have caused injuries to users; including burns to the legs, arms, and neck. The incidents have also caused severe property damage.
In July 2016, the CPSC issued a nationwide hoverboard recall of more than 500,000 units after continuing to receive reports of imported lithium ion battery power hoverboards catching on fire. Following the recall, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an order banning unlicensed hoverboards from being imported into the U.S. to prevent cheaply made lithium ion batteries from causing injuries and property damage to consumers.
In 2017, the CPSC issued a hoverboard warning to parents and owners to verify whether their children are in possession of one of the recalled devices after a three year old girl from Pennsylvania was killed in a house fire. According to the CPSC report, Ashanti Hughes, 3, died on March 11, 2017 in her Harrisburg, Pennsylvania home after a hoverboard caught of fire. Another girl in the home was reported to have suffered severe burns to over 95 percent of her body due to the incident.