New safety regulations for hoverboards released

By Dmitry Rashnitsov   |   Feb. 19, 2016 at 2:46 PM
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BETHESDA, Md., Feb. 19 (UPI) -- The popular 2015 Christmas gift known as the hoverboard may soon be off of shelves for good unless manufacturers follow new safety guidelines.

Hoverboard manufacturers are being asked to comply with voluntary safety standards, with specific safety standards for the lithium-ion batteries that have led to 52 fires and $2 million in damage across 24 states.

The government's request is outlined in a letter from Robert Howell director of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's office of compliance and field operations, which says that hoverboards that don't meet the safety standards may be subject to detention and/or seizure.

"In addition, if we encounter such products domestically, we may seek a recall of these products," he wrote.

In 2015 at JFK Airport in NYC, nearly 1,400 counterfeit hoverboards with subpar batteries manufactured in China were seized.

Online retailers such as Amazon and Overstock.com stopped selling the product earlier this year while Delta, United, JetBlue. and American banned the devices on flights altogether.

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