Hoverboards, those personal scooters seen everywhere from Missy Elliott videos to beneath the feet of teens cruising the streets of Manhattan, are exploding.
Not just exploding in popularity. They are literally exploding.
In the past few weeks there have been several reports of hoverboards exploding and/or catching fire:
Like this one reported in Boca Raton, Florida.
And this one reported in Gulf Shores, Alabama.
Or this one that’s blamed for destroying a home in Louisiana.
On top of that, U.K. officials seized 15,000 hoverboards that were ruled unsafe and at risk of exploding or catching fire. The U.K. officials have warned people that buying a hoverboard could put you at risk.
Here’s a tweet from the London Fire Brigade warning against hoverboards:
In most of the reports, the fires appear to start due to faulty chargers for the lithium-ion batteries that power hoverboards.
It’s difficult to track down any particular hoverboard manufacturer to blame, but a lengthy BuzzFeed report shows that many, if not most, hoverboards are made in Shenzhen, China, the mega manufacturing city where many of the world’s favorite gadgets (like the iPhone) are built.
They’re then distributed and sold by a lot of different companies, making it difficult to track which models are at risk of catching fire or exploding.
However, we do know that Halford has issued a recall for its Air Runner board.
If you really want to buy a hoverboard, do some research and make sure you’re buying a model that hasn’t been blamed for a fire.