NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The government is cracking down on hoverboards.
In a letter to manufacturers, importers and retailers, U.S. regulators said they will seize or recall any of the of the two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters, which were a huge hit this holiday season, if they fail to meet federal safety standards.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in a letter issued Thursday noted 52 reports of fires that users say were caused by hoverboards in 24 states.
EXTRA: Read The Full Letter Here
It said those fires led to $2 million in property damage, including destruction of two homes and an automobile.
“We believe that many of the reported incidents, and the related unreasonable risk of injuries and deaths associated with fires in these products, would be prevented if all such products were manufactured in compliance with the referenced voluntary safety standards,” the letter said.
In late December, two families — one in New Jersey and one in Brooklyn— also reported their motorized scooters had burst into flames. A December house fire in Westchester County was also caused by a hoverboard explosion.
In addition to the letter, the CPSC released a video it says show engineers and scientists testing new and damaged hoverboards at the agency’s lab in Maryland.
Users are warned to never charge the boards while they’re not around or while they’re sleeping.
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