While the craze surrounding hoverboards may have died down, that doesn’t mean the self-balancing scooters are any safer. To that end, a Wisconsin family says they recently experienced not one, but two hoverboards that caught on fire.
Fox6Now reports that the Consumer Product Safety Commission has opened an investigation after the family says that two hoverboards they received from an eBay seller recently caught fire.
The Tale Of Two Hoverboards
The father says that his family ended up with two dangerous hoverboards after he purchased one from a seller on eBay.
While the seller had a 100% feedback rating, the man says that the first board he received contained a technical glitch. As a result, the seller replaced the board with a new one.
Shortly after receiving the replacement hoverboard, the family set it up to charge in the living room when it started to smoke.
“I picked it up with my hands, burned my hand a bit, just as I walked out the door,” the man tells Fox6Now, adding that flames from the machine eventually reached five feet in the air. “It exploded in my hands, and I threw it to the ground.”
Following the incident, the father says he decided to re-examine the original hoverboard. He took the device to the front yard and turned it on. A few seconds later, that scooter too started to smoke.
Looking Into It
Fox6News reached out to eBay about the incidents, and the company noted that all hoverboards sold on the site must meet safety standards set by Underwriter’s Laboratories.
“Consumer safety is important to eBay and we work closely with a variety of regulatory authorities to respond to product safety concerns,” the company said in a statement.
In reviewing the listing for the seller, eBay notes that it found that this information was not included.
Fox6News reports that the hoverboards could be linked to thousands of counterfeit devices that were seized in California last month.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission tells Fox6Now that it is investigating the incident, and currently trying to determine who manufactured the hoverboards in question.
Issues with the boards began around the 2015 holiday season when many who received the devices as gifts reported they had caught fire or exploded while being plugged in to charge.
In Jan. 2016, the agency announced it was investigating 13 hoverboard companies. Engineers with the agency tested hoverboards – both new models and those involved in fire incidents – at its National Product Testing and Evaluation Center.
A month later, the agency said that over a two-month period it had received reports from consumers in 24 states of self-balancing scooter fires, including the destruction of two homes and an automobile.
In July 2016, the CPSC recalled more than 500,000 hoverboard scooters from eight manufacturers over fire hazards posed by the devices’ lithium-ion battery packs.
“Let me be clear about this — all of the hoverboard models included in this recall were made with fundamental design flaws that put people at real risk,” now-former CPSC chair Elliot Kaye said in a statement in July 2016. “My message to the public was clear in February and continues to be clear today: Do not use a hoverboard that does not meet UL’s electrical safety requirements for these products.”
More recently, in March, two people died after a charging overboard caught fire at a Harrisburg, PA, home. The CPSC said at the time that it was investigating the incident.