11 March 2016
CPSC Again Warns Importers and Manufacturers About Safety of Hoverboards
The CPSC has stepped up efforts to ensure that domestically-produced and imported hoverboards comply with all applicable safety requirements and do not pose a substantial product hazard to consumers. Also known as smart boards, self-balancing boards or self-balancing scooters, hoverboards are self-balancing, two-wheeled motorised platforms used for personal transportation. Two-wheeled hoverboards were ostensibly some of the most popular items this past holiday season.
The CPSC on 18 February sent a letter to manufacturers, importers and retailers of hoverboards urging them to comply with currently applicable voluntary safety standards, including all referenced standards and requirements contained in UL 2272 – Outline of Investigation for Electrical Systems for Self-balancing Scooters. Additionally, all lithium ion battery products must comply with test requirements under UN/DOT 38.3 – Transport of Dangerous Goods for Lithium Metal and Lithium Ion Batteries.
The CPSC warns that self-balancing scooters that do not meet these voluntary safety standards will be deemed to pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers. The Commission will consider any such hoverboards to be defective and to present a substantial product hazard under Section 15(a) of the Consumer Product Safety Act or an imminent hazard under Section 12 of the CPSA. The CPSC may seek detention and/or seizure if it encounters any such products at import and order a recall if it encounters any such products in the domestic market.
The letter also calls on manufacturers, importers and retailers to review their product lines to ensure that all self-balancing scooters commercialised in the United States are in compliance with the aforementioned voluntary safety standards. The CPSC adds that agency staff will follow up as appropriate in the future to ensure that firms are meeting their obligations in this area. The letter reiterates that Section 15(b) of the CPSA requires manufacturers (including importers), distributors and retailers of consumer products to report immediately to the Commission when they obtain information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product distributed in U.S. commerce contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or that the product creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. Failure to comply with this requirement could result in the imposition of civil and criminal penalties.