US recalls 500,000 hoverboards over battery fire risks

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission announces the recall of more than 500,000 hoverboards due to the potential risk of batteries overheating and catching fire.

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States announced on Wednesday (July 6) the recall of more than a half-million hoverboards after scores of incidents in which the two-wheeled personal transports erupted in flames.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said the lithium-ion battery packs in hoverboards, which rocketed in popularity last year, can overheat, risking them catching fire or even exploding.

The CPSC said there have been at least 99 incidents of the problem, with some involving injuries and property damage.

"Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled products and contact the recalling company to return their hoverboard for a full refund, a free repair or a free replacement depending on the model," the agency said in a statement.

The recall covers hoverboards from 10 producers, importers and retailers, with more than half from Swagway , maker of one of the most popular brands.

Hoverboards, which run from about US$200 (S$270) to over US$900, were a hugely popular Christmas gift last December, even as reports of sudden fires started to emerge.