As concerns continue to mount about the safety of hoverboards, due to the risk of fires caused by the lithium ion batteries in the self-balancing scooters, a recall has been issued by yet another manufacturer.
A Vecaro LifeStyle hoverboard recall was announced on by the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) March 23, following at least three reports of the devices smoking. No injuries or property damage has been reported, according to the recall notice.
The recall comes just days after CPSC Acting Chair Ann Marie Buerkle announced the commission was again investigating hoverboards, following the deaths of two little girls stemming from a house fire that is believed to have occurred due to a hoverboard.
Ahanti Hughes, 3, died in a fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania on March 11. Several days later, Savannah Dominick, 10, died from injuries sustained in the same fire. She suffered burns across 95% of her body.
The CPSC is investigating to determine what brand of hoverboard was involved in the fire, and whether that model is still on the market. The CPSC previously announced a massive hoverboard recall in July 2016, which affected 10 companies and more than 500,000 units.
This latest recall affects about 600 Verona Glide65, Drift8 and Trek10 hoverboards, which were sold in black, white, red, blue, metallic gold, metallic silver, graffiti white print and red flame print. They have “Vecaro” printed on the front outer casing.
The devices were sold at The Audio Shop and Stereo Xone in California, and online at VecaroLifeStyle.com, from November 2015 through November 2016. Prices ranged from from $300 to $400, and the devices were manufactured in China and sold by Vecaro LifeStyle of Centos, California.
The CPSC recommends anyone with one of the recalled hoverboards stop using them immediately and contact Vecaro for details on how to return the unit to receive a free repair or credit toward the purchase of a device unaffected by the recall. Consumers can call Vecaro at 855-637-4061 or visit www.VecaroLifeStyle.com and click on the Recall Notice link at the bottom of the page for more information.
Hoverboard Fire Risks
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.
In addition to the two deaths. the incidents have resulted in injuries to users, including burns to the legs, arms, and neck. The incidents have also caused severe property damage.
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% 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.
A number of manufacturers and domestic distributors, including Amazon, have been targeted by hoverboard lawsuits filed over the last year. Lawsuits filed against Amazon indicate that the hoverboards sold on that site were promoted as being manufactured by leading electronics manufacturers, which plaintiffs say was false and misleading, as the boards were made by discount Chinese manufacturers who cut corners to save money, resulting in dangerous devices.
The U.S. International Trade Commission issued an order last year banning unlicensed hoverboards from being imported into the U.S., following the reports of fires and explosions resulting in injuries. This was in addition to the many state and local bans put in place in many areas.