Hoverboards May Present 'Imminent Hazard' If They Don't Meet Safety Standards, Federal Commission Says

No hoverboards currently certified as complying with UL standards.

ByERIN DOOLEY
February 19, 2016, 6:07 PM

— -- The Consumer Product Safety Commission has sent a letter to hoverboard manufacturers and retailers warning them that hoverboards that do not meet recently released UL voluntary safety standards are considered "defective," and could present an "imminent hazard" to consumers.

Manufacturers, importers, distributors and sellers have been prompted to examine their products for compliance with the standards.

At this point, no hoverboards have been certified as complying with standards set by UL, according to the safety organization, formerly known as Underwriters Laboratories.

"At this point we're not ready to say any particular model is safe until we know that it complies with the UL standard," CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye told ABC News' Matt Gutman. "It is irresponsible for a company to continue to sell hover boards that they know do not comply with the standard."

In the past two and a half months, the group has received reports of 52 hoverboard fires claiming more than $2 million in property damage, the letter said.

"Self-balancing scooters that do not meet these voluntary safety standards pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers," CPSC Office of Compliance and Field Operations Acting Director Robert Howell wrote in the letter, dated Thursday. "Consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite and burn."

"We have been actively working with the CPSC on the investigation of hoverboards. We have also been actively conducting R&D on our own and are continuing to work on improving our product features including enhanced safety, which remains a top priority for us," Swagway, one popular hoverboard manufacturer, said in a statement. "We are confident that our product is by far the safest on the market."

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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