Toys ‘R’ Us Stops Selling Hoverboards Amid Safety Questions

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A search of Toys ‘R’ Us’ website found no results for the Razor Hovertrax.

Just days after federal safety regulators urged retailers and manufacturers to remove so-called hoverboards from their shelves if they don’t meet certain safety standards set by the Underwriters Laboratory, one of the country’s largest toy stores, Toys ‘R’ Us, did just that. 

Toys ‘R’ Us removed the Razor Hovertrax self-balancing board from its online store over the weekend, Mashable reports.

A spokesperson for the retailer said that the move was made out of an “abundance of caution,” as it works with the manufacturer on a set of tests to determine the safety of the device.

“If, following the investigation, we decide it’s appropriate to resume selling the item, we will once again make it available on our website,” the spokesperson said.

It was unclear if the scooter was ever sold in physical stores, but Mashable reports the cached page for the device indicates it was only available online.

The removal of the device came just days after the Consumer Product Safety Commission, propelled by multiple reports of hoverboard batteries exploding or catching on fire,  sent a notice to retailers and manufacturers that all self-balancing scooters on the market are currently considered unsafe and should be removed from stores.

The CPSC “considers self-balancing scooters that do not meet the safety standards referenced above to be defective, and that they may present a substantial product hazard,” the notice states. “Consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite and burn. … Should the staff encounter such products at import, we may seek detention and/or seizure. In addition, if we encounter such products domestically, we may seek a recall of these products.”

The notice goes on to explain that the devices must comply with safety standards set by the Underwriters Laboratory.

UL, an independent safety consulting and certification company, announced last month that it would open the door to product submittals of self-balancing scooters, often called hoverboards, for “construction evaluation, testing, and/or UL certification,” noting that recent news reports of hoverboards catching fire show a need for the service.

The certification company’s standards and tests came after at least one hoverboard maker was accused of putting counterfeit safety marks on its products.

The notice, which makes it clear that if companies don’t follow new safety standards they can face enforcement actions, such as seizure of products and civil or criminal penalties, aims to hold device makers accountable for failing to comply with the safety standards.

“From Dec. 1, 2015 through Feb. 17, 2016, the CPSC received reports, from consumers in 24 states of self-balancing scooter fires resulting in over $2 million in property damage, including the distraction of two homes and an automobile,” the notices states. “We believe that many of the reported incidents and the related unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with fires in these products would be prevented if all such products were manufactured in compliance” with UL safety standards.

Toys ‘R’ Us removes hoverboards from its website [Mashable]

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