As some retailers restrict or ban sales of supremely popular hoverboards, INSIDE EDITION finds out how to buy a safe model for the holidays.
Ten fires have recently been reported by owners who say the boards flamed out, most likely because of low-quality batteries and leaving the hands-free scooters plugged in overnight, experts say.
Amazon has banned some brands and Overstock has prohibited all sales of the devices. They are also banned on major airlines.
“As cool as they are, there’s one big problem: they are not safe to transport on an airplane,” Alaska Airlines said in a statement.
Tony Le, the head of Glitek, a popular hoverboard brand, came to IE to defend his product and to tell consumers how to keep their boards safe.
“Make sure the batteries are brand-name batteries,” Le said, suggesting lithium batteries sold by recognizable companies such as Panasonic, Sony, Samsung and LG.
Cheap batteries are missing an important circuit breaker that switches off the battery if it gets too hot.
Cutting corners by buying cheaper batteries and hoverboards only increases the danger, experts say. Do not leave hoverboards charging overnight and if the device begins to get hot, don’t ride it – unplug it and send it back.
And be prepared to spend at least $400 on a board.