Our lawyers are reviewing potential lawsuits against manufacturers and distributors of hoverboards, battery-powered scooters that may explode or catch fire during use or while being charged.
Free Confidential Lawyer Evaluation: If you were injured in a hoverboard accident, or a malfunction caused an injury, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit and our lawyers can help.
Update: Exploding Hoverboard Blamed for Christmas Night Fire in Connecticut
December 27, 2016 – A toy hoverboard appears to be the cause of a Christmas night fire in New Haven, Connecticut, that displaced four people and sent one to the hospital. Battalion Chief Ben Vargas told the New Haven Register that the hoverboard fire was limited to one room of the second-floor unit in the Farnham Court apartments and was quickly extinguished. All four apartment occupants were adults; one was hospitalized after complaining of difficulty breathing, possibly from smoke inhalation.
What’s the problem?
Hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion batteries like those used in smartphones and laptop computers. These batteries are compact and hold a lot of energy, but also pose a significant fire risk when manufactured cheaply. A defect inside the cell of a low-quality battery may cause it to short circuit, resulting in an explosion and/or fire. Hoverboards are also being investigated for potential design flaws that may make them difficult if not impossible to operate without falling off.
CPSC Investigates Hoverboard Injuries
In January 2016, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that it was investigating dozens of fires involving hoverboards.
“Many of these fires occurred indoors and could have resulted in serious injuries if not for the quick actions of consumers to extinguish the fire,” CPSC said. “This is a priority investigation and CPSC is devoting the staff time and resources necessary to find the root causes of the fires.”
The agency noted that, while some components of hoverboards may be certified by Underwriters Laboratories (UL), there is currently no such certification for hoverboards themselves. Thus, each model is being investigated individually to look for specific problems.
In July 2016, CPSC announced a recall for about 501,000 hoverboards over concerns that the devices may “overheat, posing a risk of the products smoking, catching fire and/or exploding.” Products affected by the recall include:
- Swagway X1 model
- Razor Hovertrax
- Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooter
- Hype Roam
- Back to the Future
- Mobile Tech
- Hover Shark
- X Glider
- X Rider
Additionally, retailer Overstock.com is recalling all 4,300 hoverboards sold on its website, and Pennsylvania-based retailer Boscov’s is recalling about 1,300 Orbit hoverboards.
“Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled products and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair or a free replacement depending on the model,” CPSC said.
Hoverboard Injuries May Result from Design Flaws, Not User Error
CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye has noted that in addition to the dozens of fires caused by hoverboards, the agency is investigating the cause of fall injuries linked to the devices.
“At first glance, it is easy to believe the risk of falling off a hoverboard is an obvious one and to dismiss those injuries as user inexperience or error,” Kaye said. “However, I am concerned, for example, that the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching in a manner that a user would not have reason to anticipate, especially a first-time user…
“Fall injuries can be serious and life-altering. Many people, including children, have ended up with fractures, contusions or head/brain injuries. Hospitals across the country are reporting spikes in children and adults being admitted after suffering serious falls.”
If you have a hoverboard, CPSC recommends that you use extreme caution when operating it, and have a working fire extinguisher nearby while charging or using the board. Be sure to charge the hoverboard in an open area away from combustible materials, and always wear safety gear including pads and helmet. Lastly, avoid riding your hoverboard on or near a road.
Orbit Hoverboards Recalled Over Fire Risk
December 14, 2016 – World Trading has issued a recall for about 1,900 Orbit hoverboards / self-balancing scooters over concerns that the lithium-ion battery packs can overheat, posing a risk of smoking, catching fire and/or exploding. The hoverboards were sold on Evine’s televised shopping programs and online in December 2015 for about $300.
Tennessee Family Sues Amazon After Hoverboard Fire Destroys House
November 2, 2016 – A family from Nashville has filed a products liability lawsuit against Amazon after their million-dollar home was allegedly destroyed by a fire caused by lithium-ion batteries inside a hoverboard they purchased in January. Two of the family’s children were at home at the time of the fire and had to escape by breaking windows and jumping from the second floor. The home and most of the family’s belongings went up in flames, according to the lawsuit.
Do I Need a Hoverboard Lawyer?
The Product Liability Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in hoverboard lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury cases in all 50 states.
Free Case Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one was injured, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to a settlement by filing a suit and we can help.