Like a knock-off Icarus, the hot hot hot hoverboard trend perhaps flew a little too close to the sun this holiday season and ended up getting burned. And worried moms everywhere take note: In this poorly fleshed out simile, there are literal flames involved. Reports have emerged that the item on every plugged-in tween's holiday wish list is often manufactured with substandard parts, and as a result could explode at any time, and this has led to Amazon quickly pulling models from its shelves.
NBC Bay Area just reported on the case of an early Christmas present hoverboard given to a 15-year-old girl in Brentwood that burst into flames when she plugged it in to charge it. This is apparently the 12th such similar case nationwide.
One of the brands removed from Amazon, Swagway, claims this is all some sort of misunderstanding — their product is top notch and safety is of course their number one priority — and they say that Swagways will be back on Amazon shortly.
"We applaud Amazon for taking these steps to weed out the low-quality boards and want to note that this removal is NOT specific to Swagway,” a company spokesperson told CNN. "Swagway already meets [required safety] certifications and has already sent the requested information to Amazon."
According to the company, Amazon requested hoverboard manufacturers send documentation proving the boards "are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger)."
Overstock.com also recently announced it will cease selling the boards due to safety concerns.
The move by Amazon to delist certain brands follows on the heels of the Segway-lite scooters being banned from most airlines. Alaska Airlines explained the decision to ban the boards on their blog last week.
"Hoverboards are usually powered by lithium ion batteries, which are regulated by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as hazardous materials," notes the airline. "Internal short-circuits can occur with lithium ion batteries, which can then lead to a 'thermal runaway' where the battery overheats and bursts into flame."
In October, Governor Jerry Brown signed new legislation that makes hoverboards and other motorized skateboards like Boosted Boards street-legal and on par with bicycles and other kinds of scooters. That law doesn't technically take effect until January, however.
I stand for our generation and our generation is gonna be riding hover boards so if you don't like it eat a dick!— Cameron (@wizkhalifa) August 23, 2015