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US Government Says Hoverboards Unsafe

FILE - Seattle Seahawks wide receiver B.J. Daniels rides a hoverboard as he arrives for an NFL football game against the Carolina Panthers, in Seattle. Amazon is warning British customers that their hoverboards may be unsafe, the latest in a string of war

The U.S. government says hoverboards are not safe and that it may recall or seize the popular item if new fire safety standards are not met.

The decision was announced Friday in a letter from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to retailers, manufacturers and importers of the devices, following months of research and a steady trickle of stories about hoverboards bursting into flames.

According to Mashable, which broke the story, none of the hoverboards tested by the CPSC caught fire, but high temperatures were enough to issue the advisory.

The CPSC urges manufacturers and sellers to voluntarily take hoverboards off the market pending certification that they are safe by UL, an independent safety consulting firm that tests many U.S. electrical products.

According to the CPSC, there have been at least 52 hoverboard fires that caused over $2 million in property damage. No deaths have been reported.

The problem appears to stem from the boards’ lithium-ion batteries that power the self-balancing scooters. These“pose an unreasonable risk of fire to consumers,” according to a letter by Robert Howell, acting director of CPSC’s office of compliance and field operations.