While everyone seems to have received a hoverboard as a gift, tons of these personal movers have been bursting into flames. The problem has gotten so bad that retailers, including Amazon, are now offering refunds.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman, Elliot F. Kaye, made a statement that Amazon will be offering full refunds to buyers who are second guessing their purchase. He says that customers who want to return their hoverboard and get their money back should contact Amazon at www.amazon.com/contact-us. Amazon has not yet commented.
"I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first," Kaye said.
The announcement came as part of a greater statement that addresses other hoverboard-related dangers, including people falling when not wearing proper safety equipment. The statement also describes the the work CPSC's engineers are doing to figure out why hoverboards are igniting. It seems to be happening even when batteries or other components are UL certified. However, hoverboards are so new that they don't have a UL certification.
The CPSC recommends that those who choose to charge or ride a hoverboard should do so with a fire extinguisher nearby and far from anything that can catch fire.
In December, Amazon temporarily pulled a number of hoverboards from its website after a Swagway-branded hoverboard caught fire in Chappaqua, NY. In early January, a video of a hoverboard catching fire while being ridden went viral on YouTube. As of this writing, Amazon still has some hoverboards for sale online.
Hoverboards are banned or severely restricted in New York City, the entirety of the United Kingdom and at a number of colleges, including American University, North Carolina State University and the University of Connecticut. Will you seek a refund? Tell us in the comments below.