Hoverboards are no longer available on Amazon UK, John Lewis and Argos amid fire concerns
The news comes just days after the National Trading Standards, or NTS, seized some 15,000 of the 17,000 self-balancing scooters being imported into the UK.
NTS officials said many of the hoverboards seized had “non-compliant electrical components that could explode or catch fire”.
Non-compliant plugs, with missing fuses, were found with many of the self-balancing scooters. This increases the risk of overheating and exploding.
Amazon UK has told customers in an email to take their self-balancing boards and “throw them away” at recycling centres, according to the Daily Telegraph.
The Government has warned consumers to “think twice” before buying the must-have Christmas gift amid fears that imitation devices are being sold at discount prices.
Self balancing scooters are battery-powered boards which use a gyroscope to navigate.
The boards, which have no universally accepted name, debuted in China but have become increasingly popular in the United States and UK after multiple celebrity appearances.
The gadgets range in price from £300 to £800 and are illegal to use in public in the UK.
Thousands of self-balancing scooters have been seized by authorities over fire FEARS this month
Chief ombudsman Dean Dunham said: “I would urge UK retailers to take the responsible step of removing unsafe hoverboards from sale or face the risk of the full force of the Consumer Protection Act, under which the retailer can be held liable for any injuries caused by unsafe goods. Retailers who continue to sell hoverboards, that they deem to be safe, should also take note of the Crown Prosecution Service’s position.
“They have made clear that for safety reasons it is illegal to ride these hoverboards in public (on the road or paths) and this important information should be communicated to the consumer at the point of sale.
The self balancing scooters are becoming increasingly popular in the UK
“Where retailers are unable to provide such assurance, consumers should simply ask for a refund as they are entitled to under the Consumer Rights Act and report the matter to Citizens Advice consumer service by calling 03454 04 05 06.”
National Trading Standards has released some key advice to consumers looking to purchase a hoverboard in time for Christmas –
- Never leave the self-balancing scooter charging unattended, especially overnight
- Check the shape of the plug, many of the seized boards had a clover-shaped mains plug.
- Double-check the online reviews before buying. Look for information about the company’s head office as well as a landline number.
- Buy from a trusted online retailer. Websites with spelling and grammatical errors can be an indication that the seller is not part of a professional operation.
- Do not be dazzled by a bargain. Always question the price and if it looks too good to be true, it most likely is.