Helix Hoverboard Recall Follows Fires, Smoke Inhalation and Property Damage Reports

Lithium-ion battery problems with Helix Hoverboards have been linked to reports of fires, injuries and property damage in recent years.

Federal safety officials are recalling thousands of Hover-1 Helix hoverboards due to risks that the lithium-ion battery may overheat and cause fires, injuries or property damage.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the Hover-1 Helix hoverboard recall on December 21, indicating that the manufacturer has become aware of at least three reports of the self-balancing scooters catching on fire. The reported fires resulted in at least five consumers suffering adverse side effects, including smoke inhalation, headaches, nausea, and coughing, and caused approximately $25,000 in property damage.

Hoverboards are self-balanced, motorized board scooters that are powered by lithium-ion batteries, and are usually marketed towards children. They have become increasingly popular in recent years, and are often a popular Christmas present in households nationwide. However, in addition to serious concerns about the accident risks associated with hoverboards and other micromobility devices, officials indicate that thousands of lithium-ion battery fires have been reported in recent years.

Hover-1 Helix Hoverboard Recall

The Helix Hover-1 recall impacts approximately 25,000 hoverboards sold in camouflage and galaxy colors, which have serial numbers containing 15914, 19203, or 19988. They were distributed online from September 2020 through December 2021 at www.walmart.com and www.amazon.com, for between $170 and $200.

According to the recall, consumers should immediately stop using the recalled hoverboards and contact the manufacturer to receive a free replacement.

Consumers may contact DGL Group by phone at 888-556-8426 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. They may also visit https://www.hover-1.com/pages/important-safety-information or www.hover-1.com, and click on “Important Recall Information” at the top of the page.

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Hoverboard Safety Concerns

Officials have been concerned over the safety of hoverboards since they gained popularity around the 2015 holiday season. In 2018, only a few years after their release, accidents involving hoverboards sent nearly 27,000 children to emergency rooms in the U.S. alone.

Between 2017 and 2021, the CPSC reported a 127% increase in hospitalizations associated with micromobility device accidents, including hoverboards. In 2021, hoverboard crashes caused 121,300 emergency room visits, and were the second most common cause of micromobility-related hospitalization.

The most common injuries associated with hoverboard crashes in 2021 involved fractures to the wrist, forearm, ankle, and head after falling off the board. Head injuries accounted for 14% of overall hospital admissions that required additional observation.

Lithium-Ion Battery Fires

Many of the imported lithium-ion batteries that power the hoverboards have been found to be faulty and prone to overheating, smoldering, catching on fire, and even exploding. In July 2016, the CPSC issued a nationwide hoverboard recall in an attempt to remove the devices from the U.S. market, after the agency continued to receive reports of the lithium-ion batteries catching on fire.

In 2017, six separate hoverboard recalls were announced due to the risk of lithium-ion battery fires, impacting several thousand different products with brand names Sonic Smart Wheels, Smart Balance, Drone Nerds, Go Wheels, iHoverspeed and Tech Drift.

The CPSC issued a lithium-ion battery warning to more than 2,000 hoverboard and micromobility device manufacturers in 2022, after the agency received more than 208 complaints involving micromobility fires or overheating incidents. At least 19 of the incidents resulted in fatal injuries, and 11 deaths involved hoverboards.

Recently, more than 50,000 Jetson Rogue hoverboards were recalled in March, after one device was found to be the point of origin of a house fire that killed two young girls in Pennsylvania.

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