The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission said on Wednesday that ten companies are recalling about 501,000 hoverboards after numerous reports of the self-balancing scooters’ batteries catching fire.
The recall follows the agency’s investigation of more than 60 hoverboard-related fires causing $2 million worth of property damage. Already, several owners have filed individual personal injury lawsuits against manufacturers.
Hoverboards are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and catch fire if they are improperly charged or installed. The batteries have caused similar fire issues in e-cigarettes, cellphones and laptops.
According to the safety agency, there have been at least 99 incidents reports of the battery packs in self-balancing hoverboards overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire and/or exploding including reports of burn injuries and property damage.
“We’ve all seen pictures of homes destroyed and families that made it out just in time,” Commission Chairman Elliot Kaye told a news conference.
The agency also said that China-based e-commerce company Alibaba Group Holding Ltd has acted on its own to require certification from testing agencies for hoverboards listed by third parties on its AliExpress.com and Alibaba.com online sites.
The consumer protection agency recommends that 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.