Are Hoverboards the Most Dangerous Gift of 2015?

December 18, 2015

What is a hoverboard?

The term “hoverboard” has been applied to a number of personal transportation devices. Under the broadest definition, a hoverboard is any handlebar-free scooter or motorized skateboard which a user operates from a standing position.Photo credit:

Are all hoverboards dangerous?

All hoverboards do present risks of injury. Because users stand on these moving and motorized devices, all hoverboard users may experience collisions or falls. Consumers should wear proper safety equipment when using a hoverboard to minimize these potentially serious injuries.

Why are safety investigators concerned about hoverboards?

While all hoverboards carry certain risks, one specific type of hoverboard has become the subject of recalls, safety alerts, and a Consumer Product Safety Commission investigation. These particular hoverboards are self-balancing scooters—sometimes referred to as hands-free Segways. Manufactured by a number of companies, these devices are powered by rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

In the U.S. and elsewhere around the globe, evidence has surfaced that suggests that these hoverboards can spontaneously catch fire. Early reports link the fires and related damage to faulty batteries. The CSPC is currently investigating the cause. Meanwhile, retailers large and small—including—have pulled many device models, and according to the Washington Post major airlines have barred passengers from transporting the devices.

What safety standards apply to hoverboards?

According to the CSPC, there are no safety standards apply to hoverboards. While this may be true as far as government or industry imposed standards, it does not tell the whole story. Under Ohio law, those injured by defective products may be able to hold manufacturers or suppliers liable for damages in a civil action. In this way, consumers are afforded some measure of protection from the carelessness of manufacturers even when no government safety standards have been put in place.

If you or a loved one were injured by a hoverboard, scooter, or any other defective product, contact an experienced Cleveland defective product lawyer at Lowe Scott Fisher Co., LPA for a free consultation.

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