Safety standards imposed on hoverboards
Hoverboards, or self-balancing scooters, are a popular new toy in Indiana. However, a consistent pattern of safety issues and problems with design have caused the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission to move to bring them under greater control. Following this recent action, all manufacturers of hoverboards for the American market will be required to obtain Underwriters Laboratories certification.
Although hoverboards have only been for sale for a relatively short time, the number of incidents related to them has been substantial. More than $2 million dollars worth of damage have been caused in 52 separate incidents of self-balancing scooters catching fire over a less than three month period. The problems appear to be electrical in nature, and the fires appear to have some relationship to the batteries installed in the scooters.
The CSPC said that it might detain or seize non-compliant hoverboards as they enter the United States. The agency also said that it may recall all of the defective self-balancing scooters that have already been sold in the U.S.
Manufacturers of defective merchandise can be held responsible for the harm that results from their products. For example, if a fire were to start because of a defective battery, and that fire were to spread and burned down the house, then the manufacturer would bear economic responsibility for the house, all its contents, and the personal injuries of anyone unfortunate enough to have been caught in the blaze. An attorney who has experience in products liability litigation can often be of assistance to those who have been harmed in such a manner.
Source: Tech Crunch, “U.S. Government Says Hoverboards Are Verboten“, John Biggs, Feb. 19, 2016