Hoverboards were one of the most highly desired products last Christmas. What started out as an obscure and very expensive gadget, suddenly gained mainstream popularity thanks to celebrities showing off their gizmos on Instagram. —
Kids were hooked, it was THE Christmas present to have. High schools and college campuses were flooded with them. Everybody wanted one.
That is, until they started catching fire.
Chinese manufacturers were in a competition frenzy, converting factories from cell phone and electric brushless motor factories to hoverboard factories, trying to push out as many hoverboards as they could, as fast as possible.
The influx of unregulated Chinese hoverboards on the American market meant that the manufacturing quality of the Lithium-Ion battery packs powering the boards was spotty at best.
Fires started to become more and more common as cheaper hoverboards became available. After all, Lithium-Ion batteries are tricky, as evidenced by the recent battery recalls in other consumer electronics products. If big companies can have trouble with battery manufacturing, small independent Chinese factories sure can too.
Thankfully, in May 2016, UL, the product safety testing and certification organization, certified the very first hoverboard. The process includes vibration, puncture and drop tests of hoverboards, as well as the overcharging of their battery pack. Should your hoverboard's charger fail, your battery pack will just fizzle out instead of catching fire.
The list of companies that are putting their products through UL’s rigorous testing is increasing daily.
Unfortunately, the Chinese hoverboards that have been manufactured in a hurry are still around, and merchants all over the internet are still trying to sell them off. Many of them are passing off these hoverboards by other names, such as smart balance wheel, or self balancing scooter, to avoid the listings being removed too quickly.
Customers are advised to check for the holographic UL certification sticker on their hoverboards as well as reading up on the different hoverboard brands.
Thankfully, sites dedicated exclusively to testing and reviewing hoverboards are already compiling updated lists of UL certified hoverboards, to aid consumers in discerning safe hoverboards from the duds.
Looks like conscientious shoppers won't have to fear their Christmas present setting the house on fire anymore.
Name: John Bash
Email: Send Email
Release ID: 137942