Swagway, one of the leading hoverboard sellers in the country, is telling customers to stop using its devices after the US Consumer Products Safety Commission deemed nearly all hoverboards unsafe yesterday. The CPSC's letter — sent to manufacturers, importers, and sellers of the self-balancing two-wheeled scooters — says the devices pose an "imminent hazard" and may be seized or recalled by the government. Anyone caught selling unlicensed hoverboards risks civil and criminal penalties, according to the US government.
"In complying with the CPSC's requirements, we ask customers who have purchased a Swagway to refrain from using their boards in the interim," a Swagway representative told Mashable today. "We will issue a recall if necessary, as soon as we fully understand the exact specifics that need to be addressed according to the CPSC requirements and will offer a remedy for our customers accordingly."
"We ask customers who have purchased a Swagway to refrain from using their boards."
It's unclear if Swagway has completely halted sales; one of its hoverboards can still be purchased from Target. The company believes its products, including those in transit from China, "exceed the new safety standard," but they have to be independently certified as now required by the government.
The CSPC, which has received 52 reports of hoverboard-related fires in 24 states, demands hoverboard sellers go through two certification processes to sell the vehicles legally. The first involves ensuring a hoverboard's lithium-ion battery meets the safety requirements of the United Nations and the US Department of Transportation. The second requirement is a full device check from Underwriters Laboratory, a private company specializing in product safety certification. "We believe that many of the reported incidents, and the related unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with fires in these products, would be prevented if all such products were manufactured in compliance with the referenced voluntary safety standards," CPSC says.
Swagway's X1 hoverboards have faced issues in the past. Both Target and Amazon temporarily pulled the company's products from their respective stores in December amid safety concerns. The company is also facing a lawsuit from scooter-maker Razor, which says its patent agreement with inventor Shane Chen makes it the only company allowed to sell such hoverboard-style devices in the US. Swagway did not respond to a request for comment.