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Tech News: Over 15,000 Hoverboards Seized in the U.K. Due to Fire Risk

Hoverboard
(Photo : Wikipedia / Soar Boards / CC)

With the Christmas season just around the corner, many people are probably considering giving hoverboards to their loved ones as gifts.

However, those who are thinking of gifting this hot-selling item might want to think twice for safety reasons.

Recently, various establishments in the U.K. have issued a massive recall on the self-balancing, hands-free scooters after being identified as major fire risks. The units that covered in the recall are those carrying the brand Air Runner, according to CNET.

 Aside from recalls, government officials have also seized and impounded over 15,000 hoverboards that came from other countries.

"Our team at sea ports, postal hubs and airports have seen a significant spike in the number of unsafe hoverboards arriving at national entry points in recent weeks and are working around-the-clock to prevent dangerous items from entering the supply chain," Lord Toby Harris of the consumer watchdog National Trading Standards said in a statement.

According to officials, using the motorized boards is relatively safe. The main problem, however, is with the charging units that come with each item. Based on the investigation by authorities, they discovered issues regarding the charger itself, its cable and plug, as well as the battery and cut-off switch.

They noted that the specs of these parts do not comply with E.U. or U.K. standards and can lead to dangerous accidents. The authorities said that due to the sub-par equipment and technology, the hoverboards are at risk of exploding or bursting into flames.

Leon Livermore, the chief executive of the U.K.'s Chartered Trading Standards Institute said that the faulty hoverboards may have come from illegal manufacturers who are trying to take advantage of the high demand for the items.

"Criminals and irresponsible manufacturers will often exploit high demand and attempt to flood the market with cheap and dangerous products," he said according to CNET. "Consumers should not let a new fashion or craze cloud their judgement."

The cases of exploding or faulty hoverboards are not only isolated in the U.K. In the U.S., owners have already reported instances of their hoverboards bursting into flames.

According to Fox31 Denver, almost immediately after using his hoverboard, a man from Florida said that it suddenly exploded.

"I came outside, turned it on," he said according to the news site. "I came down the sidewalk, probably not even a hundred feet and it exploded."

In Louisiana, within a week before Thanksgiving Day, a house caught on fire and was destroyed because of a faulty hoverboard. The homeowners said that they were charging the board when it suddenly caught on fire. According to the victims, the hoverboard came from the brand Fit Turbo and was purchased from online retailer Amazon.

Tags Hoverboards, Self-Balancing Boards, christmas, Recall, Fire Risk, Product Recall, UK, US

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