Hoverboard Company Accused Of Putting Counterfeit Safety Marks On Products

Images from UL showing alleged counterfeit mark on a Swagway product.

Images from UL showing alleged counterfeit mark on a Swagway product.

While U.S. officials try to get to the bottom of exploding hoverboards, you might be wondering if the scooters are safe. It’s unclear, but one company that makes the scooters, which, as we all know by now, do not actually hover, is in hot water for allegedly peddling products bearing counterfeit safety marks.

Underwriters Laboratories, an independent safety consulting and certification company, issued a notification that Swagway marketed and sold hoverboards with the UL mark, without first being evaluated to “any standard of safety.” UL hasn’t certified any hoverboards for safety whatsoever, the company noted.

“It is unknown if the Swagway Hoverboards comply with any safety requirements,” UL said in a statement.

Swagway says it’s been “in discussions” with UL for weeks over using the mark, a spokeswoman told the Tribune, and that the company uses UL-certified battery cells and adapters. However, it was told by UL it had been incorrectly using a mark that means the entire system has been certified by UL.

“Swagway is disappointed that despite its good faith efforts to work with UL on this issue, UL chose to unilaterally issue its polarizing press release without discussing it with Swagway,” the company said in a statement, via the Chicago Tribune.

Hoverboards — or self-balancing electric scooters — have become popular items in the U.S. lately. But after reports that lithium-ion batteries used in the devices can spontaneously burst into flames, airlines, college campuses, and other organizations have banned the boards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said last month that it’s looking into 22 hoverboard-related fires in 17 states, with a focus on the configuration of battery packs and compatibility with chargers.