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Unsafe hoverboards should be disposed of warns Amazon

18 December 2015 - 11:29 by Mike Price

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Amazon is one of many retailers that is advising customers who purchased budget hoverboards, the hottest toy of Christmas 2015, to dispose of them as a result of safety risks that have been widely publicised in the last few days.

The self-balancing, wheel-based miniature Segway machines which are often referred to as hoverboards in marketing materials and by users, have been the subject of media scrutiny after a number of incidents involving cheap models catching alight while in motion or during the charging process.

Now Amazon has sent out emails to customers who purchased the affected models, suggesting that it is best to do away with them rather than risking their use, because of the fire hazard they represent, according to the Independent.

Half a million people have already purchased hoverboards ahead of the festive season to give as gifts. And while the high end models are not thought to be dangerous, it is the bargain basement versions that are problematic, because the internal batteries are not built to the same standards of quality.

Some models have even been fitted with plugs that do not comply with safety regulations in the UK, so there is a long list of potential problems that could arise from their use.

Those who purchased hoverboards online will be able to receive a refund for their product, thanks to the existing rules of the Consumer Rights Act, so long as they return it within 30 days, according to industry expert, Andy Brian.

Following the fires and explosions which are reported to have been caused by these hoverboards, they are no longer listed for sale via safe shopping online through Amazon’s site, nor on a number of other e-commerce outlets operated by rival retailers. And consumers are advised to be cautious about using a hoverboard if they receive one this Christmas.