Skip to main content

Amazon to customers: throw your hoverboard away

Companies rarely advocate for the destruction of their products, but given that some of Amazon’s hoverboards are spontaneously combusting (and destroying themselves), all bets are off. Now, after already pulling the product from both United States and United Kingdom sites earlier this week, Amazon is telling customers to throw away unsafe hoverboards.

“We regret the inconvenience this may cause you but trust you will understand that your safety and satisfaction is our highest priority,” Amazon wrote in an email to customers. Those with boards featuring “non-compliant U.K. plugs” should proceed immediately to a certified recycling center, and will be refunded for their purchase within three days.

Despite the initial popularity of the gadgets (especially with the upcoming holiday season), a closer inspection of the futuristic devices made it clear that there were some very serious safety hazards associated with their use. Earlier this month, the U.K.’s Trading Standards seized 15,000 unsafe hoverboards after the London Fire Brigade reported three house fires within 10 days, all traced back to those trendy wheels.

Airlines have also banned bringing hoverboards on aircraft, as there does not appear to be any way to ensure that they won’t, you know, suddenly explode midair.

The U.K. is not alone in its hoverboard woes, as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has also been receiving alarming reports regarding the gadgets’ safety (or lack thereof). Before allowing manufacturers to list their products again, Amazon is now requiring safety documentation and proof that hoverboards have passed certain standards.

If you are one of the brave souls who owns a hoverboard (and aren’t planning on following Amazon’s disposal advice), there are a few things you should keep in mind to keep yourself safe. For one, never leave the device unattended while it’s charging (like overnight). Be sure to check the plug — if it’s clover-shaped, you may be in trouble. If you still want to purchase one of these guys online, do your research and ensure that you can contact the manufacturing company to vouch for its safety. And of course, if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Editors' Recommendations

Lulu Chang
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Fascinated by the effects of technology on human interaction, Lulu believes that if her parents can use your new app…
Amazon tweaks in-garage delivery option, so now you might have to pay
amazon tweaks in garage delivery to make it less convenient

Amazon will soon start adding a small fee for Prime members using its In-Garage Delivery option unless the delivery is made on the customer’s designated Amazon Day.

In-Garage Delivery does what it says on the tin, with the delivery person placing the package in a more secure location that's out of view of porch pirates, while also protecting it from bad weather.

Read more
Amazon makes it harder for non-Prime members to get free delivery
Amazon logo on the headquarters building.

Amazon is constantly adjusting its delivery costs for its online shoppers, whether they’re Prime members or not.

The latest change, which came this week and affects non-Prime members, will see the minimum purchase cost for free shipping increase to $35 in a number of markets, according to notices on its website that were spotted by CNBC.

Read more
Canadian woman pleads for Amazon to stop unwanted deliveries
Amazon packages outside a property.

With Amazon packages arriving at her door every day for the last two months, neighbors of Anca Nitu must think she really loves the online shopping service. But actually, she didn’t order any of the items.

Most of the packages, many of them containing pairs of elaborately designed shoes that Nitu says are definitely not her style, are sent direct to her home in Langley, British Columbia, from across North America.

Read more