Are you one of the many people who wanted a cool hoverboard for Christmas? Then this news will come as a disappointment, seeing that thousands of these boards have been seized for being unsafe.
An official statement of the Trading Standards warns interested customers to buy these boards only from official retailers, because as many as 88 percent of the devices seized around the United Kingdom were found to be defective.
Hoverboard is in fact only the nickname of these self-balancing scooters inspired by the science-fiction movie Back to the Future II. Also known as balance boards, the smart devices were designed for use at parties and events.
But something went terribly wrong because reports started floating around the USA and the UK about the hoverboards catching fire. According to the National Trading Standards (NTS), as many as 15,000 of the 17,000 self-balancing scooters the agency has examined since October 15 had to be seized, mostly because of faulty electrical components that were prone to catch fire or explode.
A similar warning was issued in United Kingdom stores of wholesaler Costco, seeing that it is one of the major retailers which stocks the Halfords product. Many, many problems were discovered in government and private safety lab tests. Several brands of hoverboards were found to present safety issues with the charger, plug, battery, cables, or the cutoff switch.
Leon Livermore, chief executive of Charted Trading Standards Institute (CTSI), said that some manufacturers might want to gain profit from the high demand surrounding the Christmas holidays by flooding the market with risky or cheap products.
If you already got your hands – and feet – on one of these popular self-balancing scooters, authorities urge you to give it a thorough inspection, focusing especially on the shape of the plug; the NTS stated that most unsafe products have a clover-shaped plug. At the same time, you should never leave it charging overnight or unattended for longer periods.
If you’re still considering buying a hoverboard in spite of the mishaps, you should do your homework and follow the recommendations of the National Trading Standards. For those who suspect websites or sellers of selling unsafe products, there is a Citizens Advice consumer helpline they can call on 03454 040506.
Before making a purchase, search for info about the company and call them if you must; those sellers who look too good to be true, they probably are, especially if you already have some doubts in your mind.
Image Source: Telegraph.co.uk