Image via Swagway.com
If you are planning to purchase a "hoverboard" on Amazon ( AMZN ) and capitalizing on their free two day shipping (if you are a Prime Member), well, you are going to need to find another retailer to purchase this (for some bizarre reason) hot holiday item.
Some of these "hoverboards" have redefined the term "hover" because they do not hover whatsoever; they are simply Segways without handlebars, are no longer going to be sold on Amazon. Leading "hoverboard" maker Swagway confirmed the online retailer is requesting companies producing and selling these misleading devices to prove these "hoverboards" are safe to use.
A spokesperson for Swagway provided a statement to The Verge regarding the issue: "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).'"
These "safety concerns" have nothing to do with people falling off of them, but rather due to the devices self-combusting and causing fires.
There have been at least ten reports of "hoverboard" fires in nine states in recent weeks, and the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is actively investigating the situation. This safety concern has reached the point where major airlines like American Airlines ( AAL ), Delta ( DAL ), and United ( UAL ) will ban these handlebar-less Segways from flights. Prior to Amazon's move, Overstock.com ( OSTK ) announced this week that it would stop selling "hoverboards" for the same reasons.
'Exploding' hoverboard blamed for destroying Louisiana family's home: https://t.co/wEDdChGBlI pic.twitter.com/4J7ZsSxEjM- WGN TV News (@WGNNews) December 1, 2015
Dating back to October of this year, UK government safety inspectors have been testing "hoverboards" imported into the country from knockoff manufacturers, which these days are all almost exclusively in China. Of the 17,000 "hoverboards" examined, 15,000, or 88%, were confiscated for these self-combusting and fire related safety reasons.
Anyone who actually wants to purchase these "hoverboard" imposters should take these safety concerns seriously and save their money until Hendo Hover works out the kinks of their hoverboard prototype that actually hovers and resembles the iconic devices in Back to the Future: Part II.
There are actual hoverboards being developed. Let's just stay patient. Otherwise, you may catch on fire.
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