You may have heard about last year’s hottest holiday product, self-balancing scooters commonly referred to as “hoverboards.” However, these products have created a media firestorm after numerous reports of explosions, fires, falls and other dangers to consumers.
In response to these dangers, many Georgia universities have banned hoverboards on campus property. The University of North Georgia was the first to ban hoverboards, followed by the University of Georgia and Georgia State University. As of January, 14th, 11 Georgia universities and colleges have placed a ban on hoverboards.
Georgia universities and colleges that have banned hoverboards cited concerns over fires in campus buildings. In some cases, fire risks are exceptionally dangerous for students. Students living in high rise dorms are the most at risk.
What Causes Hoverboard Explosions?
Reports of hoverboard fires and explosions started hitting the mainstream press shortly after the product was released to online retailers. One family in Louisiana lost their home after a charging hoverboard exploded without warning. In another case that occurred in the United Kingdom, a 13-year-old boy dragged his friend and little sister to safety after a hoverboard exploded into a ball of flames.
Hoverboards were manufactured in many different locations throughout China, often with little oversight and no concern for safety. After being manufactured, hoverboards were sold to online retailers like Amazon.
Due to poor manufacturing, the lithium-ion batteries used in hoverboards can become unstable while charging or during use. Lithium-ion battery explosions are very powerful. Other consumer products that use lithium-ion batteries, such as smart phone laptops and many other portable electronics, have safeguards in place to prevent overheating and fires. Your iPhone is much less likely to explode than a hoverboard.
Domestic retailers that continued selling dangerous hoverboards to consumers and manufacturers that disregarded safety in the name of profits must be held accountable for their actions.
The McArthur Law Firm practices personal injury law, including pursuing claims against negligent manufacturers of defective products.