In early December both the National Association of State Fire Marshals (NASFM) and the UK’s National Trading Standards issued an advisory on the top gift of this holiday season, hoverboards. Hoverboards are two-wheeled, self-propelled scooters that give the illusion of a flying skateboard and have a sales range from $200 to $2,000. In October the UK National Trading Standards issued a recall on the popular toy after finding a faulty plug that “increases the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire.” Since the beginning of the recall, safety officials have seized more than 15,000 hoverboards. After inspection, an alarming 88% of the devices were found to be defective.
H. Butching Browning Jr., the president of the NASFM, stated the explosions are “not a unique occurrence”. A Louisiana family lost their home in a fire caused by a hoverboard explosion in their child’s bedroom. In another incident in Florida, a 11-year-old girl barely escaped from being burned while riding one of the defective toys. The girl’s mother said in a statement “She felt it get hot, she jumped off, and it was in flames.”
The increasing numbers of incidents occurring across the country and abroad have prompted many safety organizations to seriously address the issue. Some major cities have already started taking action to regulate hoverboard use in public areas. Last month in Britain hoverboards were made illegal to use in public because they are considered to be vehicles.
Recently, the NYPD confirmed with CNNMoney that hoverboards are now illegal in New York City.
If you or someone you know has been injured by a defective or recalled product, contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling 713-396-3964 or toll free at 800-594-4884.