Hoverboards may soon be a thing of the past in the United States, following recalls issued this week that affect more than 500,000 of the self-balancing scooters manufactured by 10 different companies.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the nationwide hoverboard recalls on Wednesday, citing numerous reports of the devices overheating and catching on fire. The move affects more than a dozen different hoverboard brands, and effectively wipes the devcies off of the U.S. marketplace.
Self-balancing scooters, more commonly known as hoverboards, have two wheels at either end of the platform and are powered by lithium-ion battery packs.
The CPSC indicates that there have been nearly 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.
The incidents have resulted in injuries to users, including burns to the legs, arms, and neck. The incidents have also caused severe property damage.
The CPSC issued a warning to hoverboard manufacturers in February, indicating the devices must comply with federal safety standards and adhere to rigorous testing before selling their products in the U.S.
The agency said the hoverboards that have been recalled were all made with design flaws that caused the problems.
As reports of problems with the lithium-ion batteries continued to surface last year, the Department of Transportation warned the devices should be shipped as hazardous materials because of the safety threat the batteries posed. The DOT said 80 percent of shippers could not produce valid testing indicating the hoverboard lithium-ion batteries were properly tested and packaged to maintain integrity during transport, posing safety concerns.
The hoverboards, manufactured by 10 companies and sold under a dozen brands were sold between June 2015 through May 2016 for $350 to $900 each. Brands include, Swagway, Hover-Way, Powerboard, Hype Roam, iMoto, Airwalk, Hovertrax, Wheeli, 2Wheelz, Hover Shark and Orbit.
The Swagway X1 hoverboard recalled more than 250,000 alone after receiving 42 incident reports and 16 reports of burns to the necks, legs, and arms and severe property damage.
Following the CPSC warning in February, the U.S. International Trade Commission issued an order banning unlicensed hoverboards from being imported into the U.S., following the reports of fires and explosions resulting in injuries. This adds to the many state and local bans already in place in many areas.
The hoverboards were sold online at various retailers, including Amazon.com, Overstock.com, Target.com, and Swagway.com.
The CPSC recommends consumers contact the recalling companies to return the products, receive replacements or repairs.