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Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Amazon advises customers to throw hoverboards away after safety fears

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Hoverboards may be at the top of many a Christmas list this year but Amazon has reportedly advised its customers to throw them away after a watchdog urged all shops to take them off the shelves.

The online retailer sent an email telling customers to take their self-balancing boards – which have raised some serious safety concerns – to recycling centres, according to the Daily Telegraph.

The paper said that Amazon UK appeared to have removed them from listings, as well as Argos and John Lewis.

The Government has also warned customers to “think twice” about buying the popular gift due to fears of fake devices being sold at cheaper prices.

Earlier this month, the UK’s National Trading Standards said 15,000 of the 17,000 scooters examined had been seized. This was mainly down to them having non-compliant plugs without fuses which could lead to the product overheating, exploding or catching fire. Some were also found with chargers, cables and batteries that all failed safety standards.

If any injuries are caused by these hoverboards, the Retail Ombudsman watchdog said that businesses could be liable.

Chief ombudsman Dean Dunham said: “I would urge retailers to take the responsible step of removing unsafe hoverboards from sale or face the risk of the full force of the (British) Consumer Protection Act, under which the retailer can be held liable for any injuries caused by unsafe goods.

“Retailers who continue to sell hoverboards, that they deem to be safe, should also take note of the Crown Prosecution Service’s position. They have made clear that for safety reasons it is illegal to ride these hoverboards in public (on the road or paths) and this important information should be communicated to the consumer at the point of sale.

“Consumers who have already purchased a hoverboard, perhaps as a Christmas present, should contact the retailer and for their written assurance that it’s safe and in particular that it has a compliant plug with a fuse.

“Where retailers are unable to provide such assurance, consumers should simply ask for a refund as they are entitled to.

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