Hoverboards a Big Problem for Some Houston Consumers

Injury and fire-prone hoverboards are the gifts that keep on giving, but not in a good way.

Burned Hoverboard - Callahan LawHoverboards may have been the “gift of the year” in 2015, but they were also the gift that led the news headlines for things you don’t want to have happen to your loved one. Reports have varied between spontaneous fires on the board to riders falling and seriously injuring themselves. And this didn’t just happen in Texas – but all across the country.

These defective product injuries have become so frequent that a hospital in Houston started keeping count of the hoverboard injuries they treated just in their hospital the week following Christmas Eve.

NBC DFW reported: (1/2/16)

“The hoverboard was one of the most popular gifts this past Christmas season — and for a handful of people, a one-way ticket to an emergency room.

One Houston-area hospital reported treating 14 hoverboard injuries between Christmas and New Year’s Eve. According to the Houston Chronicle, doctors at Memorial Hermann Sugar Land Hospital started keeping count after they started seeing patients who had hurt themselves.

The hoverboard is a two-wheeled, self-balancing machine that became the gadget to have over the last few months. Athletes and celebrities have been seen riding them. In one video, retired boxer Mike Tyson can be falling off of one.

But doctors say hoverboard riders should wear the same gear and take the same precautions as roller bladers or skateboarders.”

Even if the rider is skilled at keeping their balance and wearing the proper safety equipment, it won’t protect them if their hoverboard suddenly is on fire. Fortune Magazine reported there have been at least 22 hoverboard fires in 17 states, as of December 29th. This includes the one that happened at Deerbrook Mall in Humble, where hoverboards are now banned after a hoverboard that was still in its box spontaneous burst into flames:

“Deerbrook Mall in Humble, Texas, has officially removed all hoverboards from its stores.

This decision follows an incident in which one of the devices caught fire on Monday. The local fire department told CBS-affiliated television station KHOU that it had simply been sitting in the box at the time. Firefighters evacuated the mall to take care of the situation.

Mall-goer Marie Golan told the station that it sounded like a small bomb. She added that when the emergency broadcast went off, some people “thought it was something so serious they were holding their children.”

This is something that has been fairly common this holiday season, as hoverboards have been a popular gift. Fortune reported earlier this month that U.K. officials have confiscated thousands of them due to safety issues, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating 22 fires in 17 states. The brand involved in the Deerbrook Mall fire is unknown.

In response to these various incidents, most major airlines have banned hoverboards, and CPSC officials warn against buying them at places like mall kiosks and websites that are unclear about how to handle potential hazards.”