Own a Swagway? If you do, the company wants you to stop using it until further notice.
The precautionary advice from one of the best known hoverboard brands comes in response to a recent letter from the government urging manufacturers, importers, and sellers to ensure their self-balancing scooters meet voluntary safety standards.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said in the letter that many boards currently on the market fail to meet these safety standards and therefore “pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers.”
It added that during a six-week period from December 1 last year, it received reports of 52 hoverboard fires across 24 states, resulting in more than $2 million in property damage, “including the destruction of two homes and an automobile.”
“In complying with the CPSC’s requirements, we ask customers who have purchased a Swagway to refrain from using their boards in the interim,” a company spokesperson told Mashable on Saturday.
Asked if its customers should return their personal transporters, the Indiana-based firm said, “We will issue a recall if necessary, as soon as we fully understand the exact specifics that need to be addressed according to the CPSC requirements and will offer a remedy for our customers accordingly.”
It said it believed boards currently in transit from the factory “exceed the new safety standard,” adding it was confident it had addressed the CPSC’s concerns.
The CPSC told manufacturers, importers and sellers to ensure that all lithium-ion batteries used to power the boards are properly certified by the Underwriters Laboratory, which specializes in product safety certification.
“We believe that many of the reported incidents, and the related unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with fires in these products, would be prevented if all such products were manufactured in compliance with the referenced voluntary safety standards,” the CPSC said in its letter.
As for current Swagway owners wondering when they can jump back on their board secure in the knowledge it won’t burst into flames, the company says it intends to issue an update once it receives feedback on its application regarding the new safety standards, though it’s not clear when that might happen.
Hoverboards were one of the hot-ticket items over the holiday season, but their sudden popularity resulted in sub-standard devices flooding the market. With reports of some boards suddenly catching fire, airlines, for example, banned the device from planes, while customs officers in Chicago seized a shipment of 16,000 counterfeit boards last month.