Hoverboards are officially dangerous, says US watchdog

Hoverboard manufacturers need to up their game in terms of quality control and safety standards, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission – it’s branded virtually all boards unsafe until the makers of these gadgets meet the required guidelines.

We’re not talking about real hoverboards here, by the way: we’re talking about those self-balancing, wheeled scooters that everyone calls hoverboards for convenience’s sake.

The guidelines and standards that the CPSC wants to see enforced cover everything from accurate labelling to internal circuitry. Cheap, unstable batteries have been the cause of a number of spontaneous fires involving hoverboards in recent months.

Up in flames

Amazon has been recalling some hoverboards and pulling the sale of others over concerns that they’re not safe enough in their present form. However, it does seem clear that some manufacturers are more rigorous with their safety testing and quality control than others.

The bottom line is that if you were about to buy a hoverboard then you might want to hold off for the time being; if you really must have one right now, check the manufacturer’s safety claims very carefully, and be very suspicious of cheaper models.

In the past three months alone, the CPSC has received reports of 52 hoverboard fires resulting in over US$2million in property damage, the government agency says. In the UK, the National Trading Standards agency has been seizing thousands of sub-standard hoverboards from Chinese manufacturers as they come into the country.

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