Hoverboards Vanish From Amazon… Again

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 3.36.58 PMThe list of retailers removing hoverboards from their virtual store shelves after receiving a warning from federal safety regulators grew again today, with Amazon stopping the sale of the self-balancing scooters for the second time. 

Back in Dec. 2015, amid the initial news reports of hoverboard fires, the online retail giant pulled the scooters and asked manufacturers to provide documentation about their safety standards. A month later, the company offered refunds to customers who returned their hoverboards.

Amazon’s most recent action comes just days after the Consumer Product Safety Commission, prompted 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 if they don’t meet certain safety standards set by the Underwriters Laboratory.

A search for hoverboards on Amazon’s website returned no results on Tuesday, Mashable reports, noting that the only related items are accessories for the devices.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 3.34.57 PMMost pages for specific brands return blank pages, while Swagway’s page contains a “temporarily out of stock” notice.

Additionally, an ad for a Hovertrax self-balancing scooter on the site returns a 404 error page, Mashable reports.

Screen Shot 2016-02-23 at 3.35.39 PM

Consumerist has reached out to Amazon for comment on the sale of hoverboards. We’ll update this story when we hear back.

Amazon is the third retailer, after Toys ‘R’ Us and Target, to stop the sale of hoverboards after the CPSC’s notice.

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.

Amazon quietly pulls all hoverboards from its site [Mashable]