Published January 21, 2016
Amazon is offering refunds to customers who bought ‘hoverboards’ on its website, according to the U.S. government, amid ongoing safety concerns about the technology.
Reports continue to swirl about hoverboards, which are actually two-wheeled scooters, catching fire.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is investigating a number of companies that make or sell hoverboards. In a statement released Wednesday U.S. CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye also noted that Amazon is offering hoverboard refunds. “I am pleased that at least one leading retailer is erring on the side of caution and taking action now,” he wrote. “For consumers who purchased a hoverboard from Amazon, they can return the product right now for a full refund. I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first.”
The retail giant removed certain hoverboard brands from its virtual shelves last year amid concerns about the technology.
Kyle said that CPSC investigators and engineers are working to identify the cause of the hoverboard fires that have occurred in the U.S. “CPSC staff is focusing on the components of the lithium-ion battery packs as well as their interaction with the circuit boards inside the units,” he said.
The CPSC chief also highlighted the potential risk of falling posed by hoverboard designs. “I am concerned, for example, that the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching in a manner that a user would not have reason to anticipate, especially a first-time user,” he explained. “ We are looking deeper into the design of these products to see if they present a hidden hazard that is leading to fall injuries that should not occur, even on a product that presents some risk of falling.“
Amazon has not yet responded to a request for comment on this story from FoxNews.com.