In 2015, the hottest craze during the holiday season was without a doubt the hoverboard. These self-balancing electric scooters allowed riders to glide around the house, the street, or through stores. However, hoverboards soon gained a checkered reputation for not only causing injuries due to balancing defects but also substantial damage to property through lithium-ion battery fires. In many well-documented cases, hoverboards were catching on fire. Now, more than a year after these devices hit the market, we are still seeing reports of fires and injuries from these devices. Our Pennsylvania hoverboard injury lawyers explain further.
New Reports of Fires Caused by Hoverboards
On January 6, 2017, fire officials in Southwest D.C were called to a two-story duplex because of a fire. The reason for the fire was reportedly a hoverboard that was charging in the bedroom when it caught on fire. While no one was injured in this accident, the family — a mother and her two children — were displaced because of the faulty hoverboard battery. Moreover, after more than a year on the market and ample time to address battery problems, this is not the only recent fire caused by these devices.
Less than one month later, on February 1, 2017, twenty-four firefighters were called to a home in Shreveport, Louisiana. The firefights were dispatched to handle a fire allegedly caused by a lithium battery in a hoverboard. This case along with countless others shows that despite considerable efforts by the Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall these products and for the companies to address safety concerns, there are numerous faulty hoverboards that are out on the market.
What Safety Problems Continue to Exist with Hoverboards?
Hoverboard safety concerns of this type are nothing new. In fact, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled half a million hoverboards in July of 2016 after the agency was inundated with calls and reports of hoverboard battery packs exploding or catching on fire.
In a related consumer alert, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) specifically cited to risks associated with many of the hoverboards’ lithium-ion battery packs. CPSC was concerned that the hoverboards may “overheat, posing a risk of the products smoking, catching fire, and/or exploding.”
In their official report, the CPSC advisory statement stated: “Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled products and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair or a free replacement depending on the model.” Some of the products that have been recalled by the CPSC include:
- Swagway X1 model
- Razor Hovertrax
- Airwalk Self Balancing Electric Scooter
- Hype Roam
- Back to the Future
- Mobile Tech
- Hover Shark
- X Glider
- X Rider
While this recall was made almost a year ago, the fires mentioned above show that these products are still on the market, and still pose a threat to consumers and their families.
Can I File a Lawsuit for a Defective Hoverboard or a Hoverboard Injury?
When a company makes a product and sells it on the market, they have a duty to sell a product that is safe for users and free from unreasonable dangers or defects. Unfortunately, satisfying this duty continues to be a major problem for hoverboard manufacturers.
Generally, there are two major types of product defects that can exist in consumer goods like a hoverboard.
A manufacturing defect exists when a product is manufactured in a way that deviates from the design and results in a defect being built into it. For instance, battery housing that is manifested outside of specifications so that it is too small and permits excessive heat build-up is an example of a design defect. By contrast, a design defect can exist when a product is made exactly as the plans require, but mistakes in the plans or blueprints result in dangerous defects.
In these cases where a person has been injured by a defective product, he or she may be able to receive compensation for personal injuries. The compensation may include damages for:
- Past and future physical pain and suffering, mental anguish and physical impairment;
- Past and future medical, incidental and hospital expenses;
- Past and future loss of earnings and earning capacity;
- Punitive damages; and
- Wrongful death when the victim was killed.
It is clear that even though these products have been on the market for several years and have been subject to numerous and expansive recalls by the CPSC, there are still regular reports of injuries Hoverboards and lithium batteries.
Injured by a Lithium-Ion Battery in a Hoverboard or Other Device?
If you or a loved one have suffered a severe injury due to a fire or explosion in the lithium-ion battery installed into your hoverboard or gyro board, the experienced personal injury and Pennsylvania product liability attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm may be able to fight for you. For more than three decades our experienced and strategic attorneys have fought for injured Pennsylvanians and Philadelphians. To schedule a free and confidential initial personal injury consultation call us at (215) 246-9000 today or contact us online.