More reports on: Retail

Amazon pulls hoverboards from site over safety issues

24 February 2016

It may be the end of the road for the hoverboards, which the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officially described as 100 per cent lethal, saying they "pose an unreasonable risk of fire" and "consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite or burn", in an open letter to manufacturers and retailers.

Now even Amazon is joining retailers who had pulled the product from their stores.

The online retailer had silently but officially withdrawn hoverboards from its site entirely, offering no written statement and giving no reasons - even though the reason was pretty obvious.

According to commentators, the move though sudden could not be considered irrational, considering the plethora of prohibitive legal measures, in many countries.

The CPSC conclusion was based on an investigation it conducted, using detailed testimonies and data from myriad reports sent in between 1 December, 2015 and 17 February, 2016.

The self-balancing scooter had become one of the hottest new trends for teens, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in a notice to retailers and manufacturers that the product was unsafe and should be removed from stores if they don't meet certain safety standards.

In letter written to retailers, the CPSC said, "We believe that many of the reported incidents, and the related unreasonable risk of injuries and death associated with fires in these products, would be prevented if all such products were manufactured in compliance with the referenced voluntary safety standards."

According to the letter, from 1 December to 17 February, 2016, there were 52 hoverboard related incidents across 24 states. The property damage recorded, including the destruction of of two homes and one car, was $2 million.

If companies failed to follow the new safety standards, they could face civil or criminal penalties or even a seizure of products.

Amazon, meanwhile, is offering full refunds to people who purchased a hoverboard from them.

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