Hoverboard recalls have not happened since 2018. All of this is thanks to Underwriters Laboratories (UL), a private company dedicated to safety testing. UL has implemented several hoverboard tests to ensure they’re safe for the general population. The company has also implemented tests for self-balancing scooters.
It wasn’t until 2016 that a hoverboard finally met the requirements listed by the UL. Ninebot, the parent company of Segway, designed this hoverboard. Since then, many other devices that comply with these rulings have been appearing in the market.
Although you can find the UL certification in many hoverboards out there, are you familiar with what this means? If not, stay with us for a while. This article will explain everything you need to know regarding hoverboard recalls and whether it is safe to use one of these devices in today’s world. However, most hoverboards out there are extremely safe (and fun) to use.
Hoverboard Brands Recall Timeline
There have been 18 recalls, starting in July 2016 and finishing in November 2017. The most common reason for recalls was fire hazards, although many of these devices were also listed due to explosion risks.
Some of the devices include:
- iRover hoverboard recall was listed on July 24, 2017, as a fire hazard.
- Drone Nerds hoverboard recall was listed on November 14, 207, as a fire hazard and explosion. It was the last entry on the list. We list each of the devices and brands listed in the next section.
Since 2018, there aren’t new entries on the hoverboard recalls list. Therefore, most of the devices available on the market are safe to use as long as the user follows the guidelines and recommendations given by the UL.
Hoverboard Recall List
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission provides this list.
|PTX Performance Products
|Different Hoverboard Models Recalled
|World Trading (For Evine Hoverboards)
|Fire Hazards & Explosion
|Dollar Mania (For Sonic Smart)
|Fire Hazards & Explosion
|Fire Hazards & Explosion
|Ihoverspeed (From Simplified Wireless)
|Iluive Hoverboards (From Digital Products)
|Go Wheels (From Four Star Imports)
|Fire Hazards & Explosion
|Fire Hazards & Explosion
Are Hoverboards Safe?
As you can see on the recall list above, there haven’t been recalls since 2017. This is mainly because of the requirements and tests conducted by UL. Therefore, we can say that hoverboards are 100% safe to use as of 2022. This company is also in charge of certifying different electric rides.
The Ninebot N3M320 was the first hoverboard that received a certification from the UL. Following up, many other brands have joined the club, including Razor and Swagtron.
While it is accurate to say that the majority of Hoverboards in the market are safe for the final user, it’s also important to keep in mind that many hoverboards out there remain untested, making them a hazard to your health and the environment.
Therefore, it is important for you to make sure that the hoverboard you’re purchasing has a UL sticker somewhere on the bottom of the hoverboard. This sticker will let you know that the product you’ve purchased is safe.
We’ll describe different recommendations while choosing a safe hoverboard later in the article. However, given the high number of untested hoverboards, there are in the market, it’s recommendable only to purchase devices from well-known brands.
What Causes Hoverboard Explosion?
Hoverboard explosions are caused by the device’s batteries most of the time. Hoverboards tend to have lithium-ion batteries, the same used in mobile devices. However, the batteries used in hoverboards are larger.
It’s also important to note that one of the primary issues that hoverboards had when they first entered the market was the batteries. These components had a very poor quality at first, increasing the risk of explosion and, therefore, the injury hazard.
So, considering the poor quality of the batteries and the fact that hoverboards tend to carry the weight of the user plus all the bumps on the road, it’s very likely for the flimsy separator to break. This component is in charge of separating the negative and positive terminals.
Once the separator breaks, it’ll cause both terminals to be in contact with each other, which will immediately cause a short circuit. This reaction will produce a relatively high amount of heat, which will then be in contact with the battery’s flammable compounds.
This makes the whole device a fire hazard, and it may also end up in a hoverboard explosion at any time. This problem is not very common in the hoverboards we can use at the moment. Not all manufacturers build their products with the same quality. Hence, it’s quite important for you to double-check if the device has the UL seal to make sure it’s safe to use.
Why UL Test and Certification?
If a manufacturer wants their hoverboard to be UL certified, the device must go through a few tests before it can receive the seal of approval. Here we describe all the factors that are taken into account.
As mentioned, the batteries of hoverboards used to have very poor quality. Lithium-ion batteries are the most convenient because they are compact and easier to operate in electric rides. However, they’re also very vulnerable to overheating. Batteries typically go through overcharge and discharge cycles to make sure they are well-built and aren’t a risk for the final consumer.
It’s common for hoverboards to have USB chargers, the same ones you’d use on mobile devices. However, since chargers may not be as safe as it seems, they must go through different tests. Whenever you charge your hoverboard, make sure that you’re using the device’s original charger.
Each device has a distinctive power output, and if there is a mismatch between the charger and the hoverboard, there could be an explosion.
Hoverboards also use wires to function. If any wire is exposed, it may generate a short circuit and harm the battery. Therefore, the UL makes sure that each of the electrical components is secure to be able to certify the product as safe.
Hoverboards have tons of mechanical components because they go through a relatively high amount of mechanical stress, which can harm the battery in the long term. A hoverboard goes through different tests to make sure it can handle misuse and use. The process includes drop, vibration, and banging tests.
All these procedures are done to ensure that the mechanical components have good integrity.
It’s safe to assume that hoverboards are mostly meant for outdoor use. Hence, the UL tests all hoverboards to make sure they can resist common environmental issues, such as rain or perhaps water immersion. Thermal cycle tests are also conducted to make sure that no liquid can penetrate the internal components and generate a short circuit.
There are tons of other tests that hoverboards must go through before they can finally receive the seal of approval. Shock tests, drop tests, and handle loading tests, among many others, are conducted throughout the process.
Once the hoverboard passes all of the tests listed by the UL 2272, it will be marked as safe to use. Some of the tests may be “extreme,” but the truth is that they are necessary to make sure that the final user (especially kids) will be safe once they start using the product.
How to Protect Your Hoverboard against Fire Hazards?
We have a few tips you can take into account to make sure that your hoverboard is protected at all times. It’s important to keep these tips in mind so you can prevent fires and explosions, even if your devices are UL-certified.
Don’t Buy Cheap Hoverboards
Go for UL-certified ones. Although it could be tempting to buy a cheap hoverboard, it is essential for you to make sure that the hoverboard you choose has the UL seal of approval. It’s possible to find affordable options out there if you don’t want to spend that much on a hoverboard.
Avoid and Never Overcharge
One of the primary causes of hoverboard explosions is overcharging. Most hoverboards at the moment include safe charging, but it would be best if you charged your electric ride only for the required time to prevent potential problems from happening.
The average charge time of a hoverboard is three hours, but it can vary from one manufacturer to another. Never charge your hoverboard overnight, and make sure to keep an eye on it whenever it is charging.
Don’t Leave your Hoverboard Fully Charged for Long Term
It’s a good thing to keep your hoverboard fully charged most of the time, as it can help you extend the battery life. However, never keep your hoverboard’s battery level at 100 percent. It’s recommended to keep it between 80 and 90 percent if you leave it on standby. If the device is fully charged, try using it for a little while.
Use the Original Charger
You should only use the charger that came with your electric ride. Using another charger to power up your hoverboard may harm the battery. If, for some reason, the unit’s charger stops working, don’t use any spare charger you may have at home.
Try ordering one from the manufacturer that was specifically made for that hoverboard to be sure that the battery won’t receive damage.
Play and Handle it With Care
While hoverboards go through very intense tests and all that, please, keep in mind that you should only use the electric ride within its capacities. UL-certified devices are good, but they are still vulnerable to problems from time to time.
Therefore, try to play and handle your hoverboard with caution to make sure it doesn’t become damaged too soon.
Keep it in a Cool Place
Lithium-ion batteries are quite sensitive to heat. Hence, when if your hoverboard receives too much heat, the battery might get damaged, or in the worst scenario, it could explode. Therefore, make sure to store your hoverboard in a cool place where direct sunlight doesn’t approach it.
It goes without saying that your hoverboard should be away from any flammable item you may have at home.
It’s possible to find tons of UL-certified hoverboards in the market. Here are a few of the models you can consider buying if you’re looking forward to getting a hoverboard. Some of the most common UL-certified hoverboards that are very unlikely to catch on fire are the following:
- Swagtron T3, T1, and T5
- Razor Hovertrax 2.0
- XPRIT 8.5″ Hoverboard
- Swagtron T580 Hoverboard
- Razor Hovertrax Prizma Hoverboard
Other Safety Tips
In May of 2022, it was revealed that over 93,000 hoverboards were retired from Best Buy. The electric rides were recalled due to a glitch that could lead to software malfunction and, therefore, injuries. The specific model was the Hover-1 Superfly Hoverboard.
Problems like what we’ve described above are avoidable if you make sure that the hoverboard you’re buying has the UL’s seal of approval. Some manufacturers even provide continued assistance to the user upon purchasing it.
You must make sure that you choose a safe device for you (or your child) to prevent any potential problem from happening. Some of the models listed above are UL certified and have excellent customer reviews. Using its serial number, you can check if a particular hoverboard is UL certified.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Causes Hoverboard Fires?
A battery problem is one of the primary reasons why hoverboards catch on fire. That’s why it is important for you to make sure not to overcharge your device, store it in a cool place and use it appropriately while you are outside.
What are the Dangers of Hoverboards?
Besides fire or explosion hazards, hoverboards are devices that allow you to be in constant movement, posing fall risks for the user at any time. That’s why you should always be aware of your surroundings while you’re using your electric ride.
Can you Leave a Hoverboard Charging Overnight?
You can, but you shouldn’t. Generally speaking, a hoverboard only lasts about 3 hours of charging. It can change from one manufacturer to another. We recommend you read the user manual to confirm the charging time of your electric ride.
What do you do When your Hoverboard Gets Hot?
If your hoverboard gets hot while you’re using it, the best thing you can do is to let it cool down. If you use it for a prolonged period, it’s normal for it to get hot. You should let your device rest for a while so the battery cools down.
Don’t start charging the hoverboard nor use it again until the device cools down.