In the wake of recent fire incidents, Amazon appears to be removing some hoverboards from its site. These self-balancing scooters are one of the most popular holiday gifts for 2015.
Best Reviews first noted that a few scooterboard models are currently unavailable on Amazon's site. "We are not recommending any hoverboards until they are proven to be safe", the Best Reviews site added. The pulled hoverboards include ones from Swagway and other popular companies such as Phunkeeduck. However, some of the more economical models, apart from hoverboards from Razor and Jetson, are still up on the site.
Amazon has sent out a notice to all hoverboard sellers to provide documentation for the hoverboards that meet the applicable safety standards including "UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger)," according to a statement issued by a Swagway spokesperson to Verge.
"Swagway already meets all those certifications and is happy that Amazon has decided to take steps to weed out the low quality boards. As safety is always on the forefront for Swagway, we're glad that this is taking place, especially in light of recent concerns with the fires with the poor quality batteries," the statement added, while also advising users to purchase hoverboards from reputable brands as a precautionary measure.
Concerns over the quality of the battery and the charger are reasonable considering incidents of fire have been reported when hoverboards were being recharged.
Jay Whitacre, professor of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University told Wired that the cause of the fire can be traced to the quality of the batteries used. The expensive high-end models are equipped with reliable and safe batteries, while the power sources in affordable models present a much higher risk to their owners.