A popular gift for the upcoming holidays is the much-touted "hoverboard," a self-balancing scooter that many young people like to use as a method of simple transportation.
However, a grave concern over the possibility of these vehicles exploding has led officials in the United Kingdom to confiscate 15,000 of them at ports and airports in recent months.
The media is reporting that officers from the U.K.'s Trading Standards have inspected more than 17,000 and have seized about 88 percent of them over the fear of the product bursting into flames possibly from defective plugs, batteries, chargers and cabling. Some that were confiscated reportedly did not have fuses. Leaving the device to charge overnight on its own also is considered a possibly dangerous practice.
Consumers in America purchasing them are cautioned about the possible dangers of this item that is said to be in great demand for the holidays. If buying it online, consumer watchdog groups are warning to double check the seller and read all terms and conditions of the product and the sale.
Here in the U.S., the Consumer Product Safety Commission reportedly received up to 20 complaints in the last three months about this "hot holiday toy" that caused injury to people using them. There also are stories of a hoverboard in Louisiana that caused a house to be set on fire from a boy's bedroom as he plugged it in to charge it. Also, the internet has seen some hoverboards spark and explode, including that of an Alabama man who taped his hoverboard becoming engulfed in flames. See the article on the pop culture website PopSugar.
The toy was made popular years ago in the movie "Back to the Future Part II," but it appears in real life, the toy isn't as easy to operate. It is recommended that the user wear a helmet, knee, wrist and elbow pads. And to take extreme precautions in buying and charging it.