During the holiday season of 2015, one of the most popular items on gift lists was the hoverboard – a motorized, self-balancing scooter that propels the rider forward on two parallel wheels.
As quickly as the hoverboard gained popularity in the fall of 2015, it also became the subject of product liability and consumer protection lawsuits for randomly bursting into flames.
One of the first hoverboard-related personal injury lawsuits was filed in New York in December 2015 after a hoverboard that burst into flames while charging. The brand new hoverboard damaged the family’s house.
Because of the unexpected and dangerous propensity to burst into flames, hoverboards are banned by airlines, banned in the U.K. and UPS decided not to ship the hoverboards via plane after December 10, 2015.
There is an ongoing investigation by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). First speculation seems to indicate that the fires seem to be related to the lithium batteries in the product. Most hoverboards are manufactured in China where there are few product safety regulations. To improve the product, the lithium-ion batteries will likely have to be modified as to lessen the risk of explosions and fires.
Hoverboard manufacturers could be the subject of failure-to-warn, design defect, negligence and gross negligence claims as accidents continue to mount due to hoverboards catching fire.
If you or someone you know has suffered property damage because of a hoverboard explosion, call Roberts & Roberts for a no-cost or obligation consultation.