Revisiting Hoverboards

Recently, we here at Abnormal Use visited the topic of hoverboards, and since our previous post on this topic, more has been uncovered regarding these spontaneously combusting machines. Hoverboards have captured the public’s interest not only due to the entertainment value brought from others’ failures, but more recently, for fire-related dangers associated with these devices. There have been numerous news segments and testimonials from consumers that have implied that hoverboards have a tendency to combust and catch fire. The general sentiment is that consumers are willing to accept the risk of injuries resulting from falling off of these devices but do not wish to be suddenly confronted with a two-wheeled fire chariot. Certain experts have commented after conducting further research as to the origin of these hoverboard fires, and some have linked it back to damage to the Lithium Ion batteries that are often used in these machines (and possibly abuse of the product). These scientists outline the dangers that could result from puncturing and/or abusing these batteries. Due to the high costs of the top of the line hoverboards, there has been an increase in “knock-off” and cheaper versions of them. These knock-offs (fauxverboards?) are likely using lower quality lithium ion batteries to save on the cost of production; we may see an increase in both patent infringement cases and product liability suits. It’s probably too early to try to gauge the impact these devices and the related litigation will have on products/innovation going forward, but we suspect that this will not be the last we will hear about these machines and their benefits/risks.

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