We’ve been getting reports of hoverboards exploding and catching fire all over the world. Now, it’s happened right here in Los Angeles. Delvon Simmons of Los Angeles told NBC News that his $600 hoverboard caught fire when he was riding it in Koreatown. He said he was riding his hoverboard near Vermont Avenue and West 8th Street when the device’s wheels began smoking. Cell phone video shows that the device then erupted into flames. The entire hoverboard was completely destroyed.
Reports of Fires and Explosions
Simmons said he had the hoverboard for about four or five months and never had any problems with it. He also told officials he did not overcharge the hoverboard, which is one of the reasons these devices could catch fire. The hoverboard he was riding was made in China. This incident follows several similar reports involving self-balancing electric scooters, which were one of the top gift items last Christmas.
In South Carolina recently a hoverboard exploded after being charged. A New Jersey family reported that a hoverboard aught fire in their living room. Another family in California reported that their hoverboard burst into flames. No serious injuries were reported in any of these incidents. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has launched an investigation into the safety of hoverboards. Several college campuses and three of the nation’s largest airlines have banned these devices because of the potential fire danger.
A Serious Danger
Hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which are commonly used to power other devices all of us use like laptops and cell phones. While the batteries for cell phones and laptops are governed by stringent safety guidelines, the lithium-ion batteries that power hoverboards are not. They come predominantly from China where there is little or no quality control when it comes to these products.
Some brands are poorly designed with faulty circuitry, putting consumers in danger of suffering serious or even catastrophic injuries. A new law in California that became effective January 1 prohibits anyone under the age of 16 from riding a hoverboard on public roadways. Another law requires users to wear a helmet. The law also requires hoverboard riders to use only bike lanes and not exceed speeds of 15 mph.
If You Have Been Injured
Despite these new laws, consumers still get no protection against exploding hoverboards that are often the product of poor manufacturing or design. If you have been injured by a defective hoverboard, please understand that you have legal rights. Victims may be able to file a product liability lawsuit seeking compensation for injuries and damages from the manufacturer, retailer, distributor or even the manufacturers of accessories such as batteries and chargers. An experienced hoverboard injury lawyer will be able to advise victims and their families in such cases regarding their legal rights and options.