Amazon Stops Selling Some Hoverboards Over Safety Concerns

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No matter what you call them–hoverboards, swagways, swegways, or just plain silly, you’ve probably seen them. They’re the new two-wheeled skateboard-y type things that are propelled by a passenger shifting weight, and they’re a pretty hot new trend on city sidewalks. Given their seemingly-overnight popularity, it would be safe to assume that they’d also be a hot new holiday gift, and promoted by online retailers as such. But au contraire, new safety concerns actually have Amazon–the king of online retail–pulling many of the from the site. Additionally, the federal government is now looking into the safety of such devices. So it might not be all fun and games this holiday season for producers of the hoverboards.

Amazon has pulled hoverboards from the major producers, including Swagway, but some of the smaller companies that produce the devices are still up. According to Swagway, the takedowns took place after an email stating:

Amazon sent out a notice on Friday just before 5 p.m. PST, to all ‘hoverboard’ sellers to ‘provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards.’

Amazon isn’t the only company that has taken a step (or a roll?) away from the hoverboards. also announced that it will be pulling the hoverboards from its site.

Despite the hoverboards’ popularity, there have been multiple allegations that the devices can catch fire. They operate using lithium-ion batteries, which can overheat and cause problems. That issue makes it difficult to transport the hoverboards, which is why a few different airlines have already banned them. Safety officials in the United Kingdom also impounded 15,000 of the hoverboards earlier this month due to a faulty plug.

Additionally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has said it has received at least 11 reports of hoverboard fires in 10 different states. Patty Davis, a spokesperson for the commission told CNN Money:

We consider this a priority investigation. This is a popular holiday item and it’s going to be in a lot of consumers’ homes, and we’d like to quickly get to the bottom of why some hoverboards catch fire.

Given how quickly hoverboards have caught on, this news isn’t going to be great for the all-but fledgling industry. Hoverboard manufacturers have to figure out how to get safety concerns under control, the sooner the better.

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at



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