While you were gleefully zooming around the neighborhood secretly praying your hoverboard wouldn’t blow up under your toes, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) spent months investigating the safety hazards of your toy on wheels. On Thursday, it sent out a letter to “Manufacturers, Importers, and Retailers of Self-Balancing Scooters” asking them to make sure that their products meet the standards of independent safety company UL. And given that none have been certified as safe yet — this means lay off the hoverboard.
Swagway, the “Hands Free Smart Board” company, told customers to stop using its product. The company hasn’t issued a recall and a spokesperson told Mashable yesterday that it believes Swagway hoverboards “exceed the new safety standard,” but still, don’t use it.
The CPSC document goes on to confirm what even major airlines already know: “Consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite and burn” — which we’ve seen on video. But more exactly, “From December 1, 2015, through February 17, 2016, CPSC received reports, from consumers in 24 states, of 52 self-balancing scooter fires resulting in over $2 million in property damage, including the destruction of two homes and an automobile.” That’s a lot of burning stuff.
We know why hoverboards explode, and it’s usually a cheap lithium battery. Those too must comply with government approved safety standards. And it’s not new news that these products are totally frightening, but what is scary is that the streets are littered with tweens on two wheels just waiting to blow, swerving in front of your car, clueless that they’re rolling on death’s wheels. Now watch this SNL sketch to clear that image from your brain.