The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has formally opened an investigation into the house fire mentioned above. The investigation comes eight months after the CPSC announced a recall of about half a million hoverboards, following just under 100 reports of the lithium-ion battery packs exploding or catching fire that the agency said caused burn injuries and damage to property in some incidents. The lithium-ion packs in the two-wheeled hoverboards are susceptible to overheating, which presents a risk of the self-balancing scooters smoking or catching on fire, the agency said. The 501,000 recalled products include hoverboards made or imported by a variety of companies, including Swagway LLC and Razor USA LLC. The hoverboards in the recall were made both overseas and in the U.S.
A number of online and brick-and-mortar retailers sold the hoverboards, including Amazon.com Inc., which was hit with a $30 million lawsuit in October, brought by a Nashville family who said the retailer was responsible for a dangerous counterfeit hoverboard that caused their house to burn down. At the end of 2016, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced a new joint effort aimed at stopping counterfeit and possibly dangerous consumer electronics at the border. The operation, named “Surge Protector,” is focusing on electronics such as digital media devices, power adapters and devices powered by lithium-ion batteries that are vulnerable to counterfeiting and present health and safety hazards from overheating.
Sources: NBC News and Law360.com
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