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Hoverboard Tech is on Fire This Holiday Season

The Back to the Future inspired tech has allegedly become a danger to consumers, with more than 30 reported cases of the boards catching fire.  Many are speculating that the cause of the malfunctions are due to faulty cables, “illegal and dangerous plugs” and overheated lithium ion batteries.  The U.S. Customs and Border Protection is also keeping an eye out for hoverboards containing fake batteries and other counterfeit parts and has already taken hundreds into its possession. 

Amazon is urging consumers who have already purchased the popular items to “dispose” of them in exchange for a full refund.  The internet giant has also banned the sale of more than 40 different brands of hoverboards from a number of companies,  including industry leader Swagway.  The “hands-free smart board” manufacturer recently posted a response to the concerns over its product’s safety, stating that “Swagway is committed to producing only top quality products and puts safety above anything else… to date, Swagway has had no reports of any issues of batteries catching fire or explosions of any kind.”

United, Delta and American airlines are also taking precautions, banning hoverboards from their aircrafts, both in carry-on bags and checked luggage, after the FAA announced that the high-watt lithium batteries are at risk of catching fire.  In a recent press release, Delta made the statement that, “Employee and passenger safety remains the airline’s top priority… Delta reviewed hoverboard product specifications and found that…[the] devices often contain battery varieties above the government mandated 160 watt hour limit permitted aboard aircraft.”  The airline also specified that as of December 11th, it would not allow any of the devices on board. 

It’s a bit of a bummer for the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe that have already purchased a hoverboard, one of this season’s most popular gift items.  eBay reportedly sold more than 5,000 alone on Black Friday and an additional one every twelve seconds on Cyber Monday.