U.S. safety officials are still trying to figure out what's causing hoverboards to overheat, even as the count of fires tied to the popular toys expands and Amazon (AMZN) offered full refunds to consumers who purchased scooters from the online retailer.
In a statement, Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) Chairman Elliot Kaye praised Amazon and said he expects other retailers and manufacturers to follow suit. "I also expect responsible large-volume online sellers in particular to stop selling these products until we have more certainty regarding their safety."
Kaye also cautioned consumers against purchasing hoverboards with an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) label on their packaging, saying that while components including battery packs and power supplies might be UL-certified, there's no such certification for the boards themselves. "In fact, any such mark is at best misleading and may even be a sign of a counterfeit product."
On Friday, UL put out a statement saying Swagway had marketed and sold hoverboards with counterfeit UL marks, adding that "it is unknown if the Swagway Hoverboards comply with any safety requirements."
Swagway replied that it had been in discussions with UL on the use of its marks "for weeks" and looked forward to "complying with any hoverboard requirements that UL develops."
The CPSC, which has been investigating hoverboard fires for nearly two months, on Thursday said it is now probing at least 40 reports of hoverboard fires in 19 states. Engineers are testing hoverboards -- new models and those involved in fires -- at a CPSC facility in Rockville, Maryland.
Companies involved in the investigation are:
• Smart Balance Wheel/One Stop Electronic Inc.
• Smart Balance Wheel Scooter/Glide Boards
• Hover-way Hands-Free Electric/Digital Gadgets LLC
• Swagway Hands-Free Smart Board/Swagway LLC
• Smart Balance Board/I Lean Hoverboards
• E-Rover-Mini Smart Balance Scooter/LeCam Technology
• Smart Balance Wheels/Kateeskitty
• iMOTO/Keenford Limited
• Smart Balance Wheel/Luxiyan and
• E-Rover Smart Balance Wheel