Amazon tells customers: Throw away unsafe `hoverboards`
December 16, 2015, 3:23 pm

Online marketplace Amazon has told customers who bought certain "hoverboards" to throw them out after concerns they can catch fire.

In an email, the firm told buyers of self-balancing scooters with "non-compliant UK plugs" to dispose of the product at a recycling centre.

Such customers would be automatically refunded within three days, it said.

It comes after Trading Standards seized 15,000 unsafe boards being brought into the UK.

Many had faulty cables, chargers or plugs that could catch fire or explode, it said.

Amazon is understood to have stopped selling the devices. Retailers Argos, John Lewis have also reportedly pulled them from sale.

A Tesco spokesman said: "We`ve suspended the sale of all hoverboards both in store and online as a precautionary measure."

Two men had to escape from a first-floor window in Morden, south London, after a "hoverboard" exploded, London Fire Brigade said

In the email, Amazon said: "We regret the inconvenience this may cause you but trust you will understand that your safety and satisfaction is our highest priority."

It advised customers to dispose of their product at a centre registered to recycle electrical items "as soon as possible", and said a refund was being automatically processed.

The company also sent a separate email to customers who had bought the so-called hoverboards with compliant UK plugs to give them tips on safe battery and plug use "as a precaution".

Such customers could contact Amazon customer services if they did not wish to keep the product, the firm said.

Fire risk

Earlier this month, Trading Standards officers said they had seized 88% of all scooters examined since October 15, mainly for having non-compliant electrical components that could explode or catch fire.

Many of the boards were found to have plugs without fuses, and cut-off switches which failed when tested.

Chargers, cabling and batteries were also found to fail safety standards.

The London Fire Brigade has warned that at least three house fires were caused by such devices over 10 days in October.


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