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Safety regulators say hoverboards may be seized

Some people in New Jersey likely received hoverboards as gifts over the holiday season. The self-balancing scooters were very popular toys until numerous reports came out that the hoverboards could suddenly burst into flames. About 52 fires and more than $2 million in property damage has been linked to the use of hoverboards.

It is unclear whether any products liability claims have been filed by consumers that purchased hoverboards. However, on Feb. 19, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced that it would be taking action regarding hoverboards that did not meet new safety standards developed by Underwriters Laboratories. If hoverboards are found that do not meet the safety standards that were announced by UL on Feb. 2, the hoverboards may be subject to detention, seizure or recall.

Hoverboards are known to sometimes catch fire suddenly and unexpectedly. Hoverboard fires have led to the destruction of two houses and other property damage. According to the director of the CPSC's office of compliance and field safety, the problem with hoverboards is that they are powered by lithium-ion batteries that tend to start fires. The CPSC spokesman said that the risk of fires starting when hoverboards are being used is unreasonable.

A person who was using a hoverboard when it caught fire may have sustained serious injuries in the accident. The hoverboard user may also have suffered a financial setback after some of their property was damaged in the accident. The assistance of an attorney may be advisable when seeking compensation from the manufacturer and distributor.

Source: USA Today, "Hoverboards may be seized or recalled due to fire risk," Elizabeth Weise, Feb. 20, 2016

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