Ten people in Rivera Beach, Florida, were displaced from their home after a hoverboard caused a fire. According to a WPTV news report, resident Cheryl Wade said the hoverboard was charging in a bedroom for a few minutes when it began to emit smoke and caught fire. Wade said her granddaughter was charging the hoverboard. She plugged it in, and just 10 minutes later, the board began to emit smoke and burst into flames. Wade closed the door to the bedroom, which she says may have prevented the fire from spreading to the rest of the house. Wade said she had heard previous warnings about hoverboards, but never thought it was happen to them.
Fires Spurred Massive Recall
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled tens of thousands of hoverboards last year because the lithium batteries can overheat and explode in these devices. Two young girls died in a house fire in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, back in March when a LayZ Board hoverboard burst into flames and the fire spread throughout the home. In that case, residents said they heard sizzling and crackling noises from the hoverboard just before it exploded in flames.
Problems with Lithium Batteries
Last year, the CPSC recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards manufactured by 11 different companies because of explosion and fire risks. CPSC officials also investigated the Harrisburg fire and urged consumers to see if any hoverboard they own have been recalled. On May 1, the agency determined that it was the LayZ Board brand that caused the Harrisburg fire. More than 3,000 of these boards have been imported to the U.S. from China. Officials are urging consumers who dispose of these products to bring them to a local recycling center so the lithium-ion batteries can be safely handled.
Problems with hoverboards began as early as in 2015 after the toys, which were on a lot of Christmas wishlists, began to explode and catch fire. They soared in popularity over a year until the warnings began to come out. By February 2016, CPSC had received reports of hoverboard fires from consumers in more than 24 states. The agency also issued a warning stating that hoverboards that don’t meet quality standards pose an unreasonable risk to consumers.
If You Have Been Injured
If you or a loved one has been injured in a hoverboard explosion or fire, you may be able to file a product liability lawsuit against a number of parties including the manufacturer, retailer, distributor, etc. You may also be able to seek monetary compensation for damages including medical expenses, lost income, hospitalization, rehabilitation, permanent injuries, pain and suffering and emotional distress. An experienced product defect lawyer can help you better understand your legal rights and options.