Internet retailing giant Amazon.com has apparently banned hoverboard sales. All-electric hoverboards have been one of the most popular gifts this holiday season, but many of these two-wheeled, auto-balancing scooters being sold today are cheap knockoffs made in China that are fire hazards.
Although the company has yet to make an official statement on the matter, buyers and hoverboard manufacturers are reporting that Amazon.com has pulled nearly all of the devices from sale on its website over the weekend. A couple of hoverboard manufacturers have reported receiving an email from Amazon requesting that they provide documentation that the boards they produce meet applicable safety standards.
Amazon halts hoverboard sales due to fire and explosion risk
Fire and safety experts note that dozens of fires and injuries have been directly linked to hoverboards over the last few months.
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A brief review of public documents reveals more than 10 reports of hoverboard fires in nine states in the last couple of months, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation into hoverboards. UK authorities also report over a dozen fires and explosions relating to hoverboards, including some that led to serious injuries and/or fatalities.
A couple of days before Amazon made its move to stop board sales, Overstock.com announced that it was halting sales due to safety concerns.
Furthermore, three major U.S. airline groups banned the devices, claiming the battery systems are an “unacceptable fire hazard”.
Statement from Swagway
Hoverboard industry leader Swagway welcomed this drastic step by Amazon: “Amazon just sent out a notice to all “hoverboard” sellers to “provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger).
Swagway already meets all those certifications and is happy that Amazon has decided to take steps to weed out the low quality boards. As safety is always on the forefront for Swagway, we’re glad that this is taking place, especially in light of recent concerns with the fires with the poor quality batteries.”