You may remember, back in 2015, when rappers, athletes, and other celebrities rode hoverboards on TV and everything seemed fine and fun. It was a simpler time. Hoverboards were the hot gift of the Christmas season and children and teens all over America rode their self-balancing scooters across city streets, smiling with glee and eating shit every time they hit a bump.
Then the fires started…
As it soon became clear, many of the Chinese-produced lithium-ion batteries used in hoverboards weren’t up to snuff. Reports of hoverboards smoking and catching fire began to trickle in.
The scandals led to the recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards from 11 different companies.
The First Fatality Related to Hoverboards
Then, in March of 2017, two children died in a hoverboard-related fire. The children, Savannah Dominick, age 10, and Ashanti Hughes, age 3, were the first ever fatalities of a hoverboard caused fire.
As the result of the tragedy, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) launched an investigation into whether or not the hoverboard-brand responsible had been previously recalled or received UL-certification.
Setators Bob Casey (PA) and Amy Klobuchar (MN) issued a letter to the CPSC saying, “While we understand that according to CPSC data this was the first fatal fire caused by a hoverboard, the dangers of defective hoverboard batteries are well known,” the letter states. “We urge you to identify whether the hoverboard involved was included in the July 2016 recall … based on the results of its investigation, CPSC should consider whether the July 2016 recall needs to be expanded and if the current voluntary standard adequately protects consumers.”
CPSC Reveals the Brand of Hoverboards that Caused Fatal Fire
After two months of investigation, the CPSC revealed to the public on Monday May 1st, that the brand behind the fatal fire was LayZ hoverboard.
The CPSC’s findings also revealed that more than 3000 LayZ hoverboards were sold throughout the United States. This means there are still close to 3000 ticking time bombs in homes across the country.
In a statement, issued with the investigation’s findings, the CPSC said, “Due to the fire hazard posed to consumers of all ages by these hoverboards, CPSC is urging the public to stop charging and stop using their LayZ Board. Consumers who choose to dispose of their hoverboards should take them to a local recycling center for safe handling of the lithium- ion battery.”
According to Mashable, “Although battery fires and serious accidents have plagued hoverboards from various brands, there are a number of companies that have acquired the proper UL 2272 safety certification introduced in 2016. But the LayZ Board brand name does not appear in searches on the UL hoverboard certification database.”
Importance of UL Certification and Hoverboards
If there’s any takeaway from this sad occurrence it is the importance of UL-certification when buying a hoverboard.
If a company would forego basic pre-sale safety inspections, do you really want to buy from that company?
Unfortunately, too many companies sell cheap Chinese-knock offs made by unscrupulous people who simply want to capitalize on a trend and make a quick buck.