Hoverboards have emerged as this year’s must-have toy, but concerns over the safety of the devices have sparked a backlash.
In recent weeks, a spate of fires caused by the devices has made headlines and led some retailers to discontinue their use.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched 10 active fire-related hoverboard probes across nine states, according to spokesman Scott Wolfson. The number is reported to be rising.
More than 30 people are reported to have been hospitalized over hoverboard-related injuries. Alarmingly, some of these have been serious injuries such as head injuries and trauma to the arms and legs. They are not necessarily related to the combustion issue.
Fires have been traced to the hoverboard’s lithium-ion batteries, which sparked similar problems 10 years ago when they were used in mobile phones and laptop computers.
Every year before the holidays, warnings are issued about dangerous toys. However, it’s unusual for such a popular device to be so dangerous.
Although several models made by Swagway no longer appear on Amazon’s website, a handful of models are still available for purchase.
“As safety is on the forefront for Swagway, we applaud Amazon for taking these steps to weed out the low-quality boards and want to note that this removal is NOT specific to Swagway, but includes 97 percent of the other branded hoverboards that were also selling on there,” Swagway said in a statement.
Many of the hoverboards that are linked to battery problems are manufactured in China.
A few years ago there was an outcry about some of the toys that were arriving in the US from China. Back in 2007, there were more than 230 recalls, “largely attributable to an influx of lead-painted toys from China,” reported NBC. The level of concern resulted in the passing of the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, which requires toy makers and importers of toys to subject new products to third party safety testing. By 2013, the number of recalls had dropped to 31.
If you have been injured by a defective toy or product, you may have grounds to file a lawsuit against a manufacturer or a retailer. Call us for a free consultation at 757.455.0077.