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Hoverboards labeled dangerous products in recent recall

Last year, a large number of hoverboards were sold here in the United States, including in New Jersey. Since that time, no less than 99 complaints have been made regarding these dangerous products. The controversy surrounds the lithium battery packs used to power the devices.

It did not take long after their release to the public for it to become clear that the hoverboards have the propensity to burst into flames and/or explode. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has looked into approximately 60 of the complaints across the country. The problem is that the lithium battery packs are not properly designed and overheat easily.

According to the CPSC, the only hoverboards that are currently considered safe are the Ninebot model N3M320 boards, which were released on May 10 of this year. This is the only model that has received certification from UL (formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories) that the product meets applicable safety standards. All other models are considered to be dangerous and should be immediately disposed of by consumers.

The Commission's website has a list of all of the recalled boards. Consumers are urged to contact the manufacturer and request a refund if their boards are not listed on the website. In any case, a board without the UL certification should be thrown away or returned as soon as possible. The problem is pervasive enough that airlines here in the United States do not allow them on the planes at all -- not in the cabin or in the cargo hold.

Reports mentioned that these dangerous products have caused a significant amount of property damage, but it did not mention injuries suffered by their riders. New Jersey residents who were injured by an exploding or on fire hoverboard might be able to file a products liability claim against the manufacturer and others in the supply chain. Consumers are entitled to safe products. When companies fail to put their products through the appropriate safety tests in order to quickly release a product, consumers are the ones who suffer.

Source: USA Today, "More than 500,000 hoverboards recalled", Elizabeth Weise, July 6, 2016

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