Did you receive a hoverboard this holiday as a gift? While they may look sleek and snazzy, many hoverboards also pose a grave risk to the safety of your property, not to mention your own personal safety.
Hoverboards: The Best Holiday Gift That Can Also Burn Down Your House
Has someone taken you Back to the Future this holiday season with their gift?
While the hoverboards promised to us by Back to the Future Part 2 are sadly still just a pipe dream (though maybe they’re not that far off after all!), the past few months have seen a huge spike in the sale of non-hovering hoverboards, flashy personal vehicles that look like miniature segways.
These hoverboards are insanely popular among young, hip tastemakers, and it’s easy to understand why when you see one sliding down the street. They’re slick, sleek, and they make the rider look like they are a time traveler from the future.
Obviously there’s a learning curve, and people may slip, trip, and fall as they learn to master the hoverboard, but unfortunately, the risk of injury from these trendy new devices isn’t the only thing hoverboard owners need to worry about.
Since December, reports have been coming in that most hoverboards, across manufacturers, have been dangerously overheating, and in some cases, even exploding. It’s gotten so bad that Amazon has discontinued its sale of the items, and major airlines will not allow you to travel with one in your carry-on or checked luggage because of the risk.
This is the cost of looking like a time-traveler.
According to most experts, the culprit is the battery. To cut costs, most hoverboard manufacturers have outfitted their devices with small lithium ion batteries, very similar to the batteries used in early smartphones. These batteries are not strong enough to adequately contain the power needed to run a hoverboard, so they often overheat while charging or while in motion. Combine that with highly flammable plastic parts, and it’s no surprise this holiday gift has backfired for so many, causing minor injuries and major property damage.
It bears mentioning that many hoverboard companies have issued recalls of their devices because of these failures, so if you gave or received one as a gift this year, check with the device’s manufacturer to prevent any hoverboard fires in the first place. If your manufacturer has not issued a recall yet and you are concerned about the safety of your unit, the safest thing to do is to remove the battery immediately, then contact your retailer and ask for a refund. Amazon has already promised full refunds to customers that bought dangerous units, and other retailers are likely to follow suit.
Of course, if you have been unlucky enough to have your special holiday gift explode on you, causing injury or property damage, our legal experts are always available to speak with you about your rights at 312-588-1900, but for now, our advice is that the best way to avoid a hoverboard fire is to, well, not buy a hoverboard.
Because if we’re honest with ourselves here, these are not hoverboards. They do not hover. They look like gussied-up miniature Segways, and looking like a time traveler doesn’t necessarily make you look cool. Oh, and if all that weren’t enough, they might explode and set your house on fire. We here at Therman Law Offices are content saving our money until real, hovering hoverboards hit the market.