There may be another reason not to gift a hoverboard this Christmas. Amazon is pulling hoverboards from its stores, following reports of explosions and house fires, according to the Verge.
In a statement to the site, Swagway, one of the top hoverboard retailers, says that Amazon asked all hoverboard manufacturers to prove that their devices meet certain safety standards from UL, a private safety science company that tests battery quality among other things. According to Swagway:
Amazon just sent out a notice to all “hoverboard” sellers to “provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger).”
Swagway already meets all those certifications and is happy that Amazon has decided to take steps to weed out the low quality boards. As safety is always on the forefront for Swagway, we’re glad that this is taking place, especially in light of recent concerns with the fires with the poor quality batteries.
On that note, we’re also in the process of working on measures, to help consumers identify between an authentic Swagway and the many imitation boards that are adding our branded logo to their unauthorized boards. Meanwhile, we ask that consumers only purchase from authorized retailers as an added precaution.
Indeed, links to most hoverboards appear to have disappeared from Amazon in both the U.S. and the U.K. Some boards by Razor and Jetson on the U.S. site and Smartrax on the U.K. site are still available, though it’s unclear why those models remain.
Because there is no primary hoverboard manufacturer, importers have been purchasing shoddily made knockoffs from China that haven’t had to pass industry regulations. Over the past several months, fire departments in the U.S. and the U.K. have reported a string of incidents involving exploding hoverboards.
Despite that–and despite the fact that at this point, hoverboards are essentially just Segways without handle bars–hoverboards have experienced a recent surge in popularity that’s prompted many to order them for holiday gifts (and others to use them as getaway cars). But to those eagerly awaiting the hottest gift of the season, we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: nobody looks cool riding a hoverboard.