Amazon Yanks Nearly All Hoverboards

Won't be allowed back on US site until makers can prove they won't catch fire
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 14, 2015 9:23 AM CST
Amazon Yanks Nearly All Hoverboards
In this Oct. 30, 2014, photo, a rider demonstrates riding a hoverboard in Los Gatos, Calif.   (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Consumers planning on scouring Amazon to find a hoverboard to place under the Christmas tree may have to look elsewhere. Joining fellow online retailer, Amazon has decided to halt sales of most of the two-wheeled products on its US and UK sites in the wake of recent reports of explosions and fires. Although hoverboards from Razor and Jetson remain on the site, as do hoverboard accessories, Amazon says it won't put any other manufacturers' hoverboards back on until makers can prove their units meet appropriate safety requirements set by the private company UL, notes Quartz. The site, which recently reviewed five models (none of which are available any longer on Amazon), said in response to the Amazon move that "we are not recommending any hoverboards until they are proven to be safe."

So far, at least 10 hoverboard fires have been reported in nine states, per Fox59, and the Guardian reports that 88% of the non-EU hoverboards tested by the UK's trading standards authority didn't pass basic safety requirements. The Verge notes that the problem has become so worrisome that some airlines are now banning hoverboards from their flights. "Criminals and irresponsible manufacturers will often exploit high demand and attempt to flood the market with cheap and dangerous products," the CEO of the Chartered Trading Standards Institute tells the Guardian. One company that may end up profiting from the other sites' reluctance to carry hoverboards: eBay, which notes still had plenty of listings for the product as of Sunday night. (This guy's hoverboard didn't catch fire as he allegedly shoplifted.)

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