15,000-Plus Hoverboards Seized at U.K. Border Over Safety Concerns

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December 3, 2015

15,000-Plus Hoverboards Seized at U.K. Border Over Safety Concerns

By SPN Staff Writers in Breaking News Technology


If you were hoping to get a little air a la Marty McFly this Christmas, you may be out of luck.

More than 15,000 ‘hoverboards’ were seized by U.K. officials at ports and borders because they have been deemed unsafe.

More than 17,000 self-balancing scooters were shipped in total since Oct. 15 and 88 percent did not make the cut. Major safety risks identified in the self-balancing scooters include issues with the plug, cabling, charger and battery or cut-off switch.

“Our teams at sea ports, postal hubs and airports have seen a significant spike in the number of unsafe ‘hoverboards’ arriving at national entry points in recent weeks and are working around-the-clock to prevent dangerous items from entering the supply chain,” said U.K. National Trading Standards chairman Lord Toby Harris in a press release.

“Protecting consumers from harm is our top priority and our Safety at Ports and Borders teams are preventing thousands of these unsafe items from being released onto the market every day. We suspect that most of these products are being imported for onward sale domestically as Christmas approaches – we urge consumers to be on their guard when purchasing these products and advise you read our product safety checklist to help ensure you are not purchasing a dangerous item.”

The National Trading Standards released the following pointer for people hoping to buy a ‘hoverboard’ as a Christmas gift:

Try searching for reviews of the product or the seller – do these seem genuine?

Are there lots of spelling or grammar mistakes on the site? This can be a clue that a business is not professionally run.

See if you can find out where the company’s head office is based – and whether that fits with how the website presents itself.

Do they have a landline number you can call if there are any problems? Bear in mind that if the company is based abroad, it can be more difficult to get a complaint dealt with or return a faulty product.

Read the small print – notice if anything seems odd, repetitive or in incorrect English.

Is there an ‘s’ at the end of the ‘http’ part of the Web address, or is there a padlock symbol in the task bar? This means the website is using an encrypted system that keeps your details more secure.

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