Just when it seemed that hoverboards were about to go mainstream, safety concerns regarding the popular self-balancing scooters have gotten them banned from any number of places. In fact, New York City recently went so far as to ban their use on public streets.
Most recently, Target opted to temporarily ban Swagway X1 hoverboards from all stores following a number of incidents where the device spontaneously caught on fire. Speaking to the Consumerist, a Target spokesperson said that the hoverboards would go back on sale next Tuesday if Swagway can provide documentation proving that the devices comply with “battery and charger safety standards.”
Target’s decision to more closely scrutinize hoverboards appears to be a going trend. Just last week, Amazon also banned Swagway hoverboards due to fire safety concerns. What’s more, a whole slew of airlines have recently banned all hoverboards from flights on account of safety considerations.
In fact, the problems associated with hoverboards have become so frequent that the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recently opened up an investigation into the devices. I suppose when reports of 10 separate hoverboard fires surface across nine different states, it’s time to see what in the world is going on.
According to some safety experts, part of the problem may lie in the fact that some manufacturers are opting to skirt around safety regulations in order to have a plentiful supply of inventory during the holiday shopping season. Additionally, and as noted by The Washington Post, “hoverboards are generally being sold by little-known companies and brands that buy them from Chinese factories, making it more challenging for consumers to know what model to trust.”
As it stands now, Swagway is one of, if not the biggest hoverboard manufacturer around these days. That being the case, one can only hope that the problems resulting in their blemished safety record can be identified and resolved.