If you experienced deja vu reading that headline, there’s good reason. The proliferation of so-called “hoverboards” (i.e. self-balancing scooters) has come with lots of safety issues and recalls. This time, at least, the boards aren’t spontaneously combusting.
On Thursday, DGL Group, the distributor of the Hover-1 Superfly Hoverboard, asked owners to stop using the scooters. The New Jersey-based company has issued a safety recall of 93,000 hoverboards manufactured in China, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
“Consumers should stop using the hoverboards immediately, and contact DGL Group, Ltd. Consumers will then be provided instructions on how to ship affected units to an authorised repair shop free of charge,” wrote the company in its online statement. DGL further provided both a phone number and an online form which hoverboard owners can use to contact the company.
Apparently, a software malfunction means the boards are liable to continue moving, even when the rider isn’t actively controlling the board. In other words: They might go when you want them to stop.
CPSC has so far received 29 reports about the software issue, and “four minor injuries have been reported,” the watchdog group said.
The recall specifically affects black model H1-SPFY hoverboards which were sold at Best Buy between October 4, 2020 and October 17, 2021. The impact board serial numbers are as follows:
This recall is just the latest in a series of past safety issues with hoverboards. In 2016 and 2017 at least 17 different models of self-balancing scooters were recalled, according to CPSC. All of those prior recalls had to do with explosion and/or fire risk — many hoverboards have had issues with spontaneously going up in flames.
Because of the uh… random and constant combustion risk, retailers like Amazon, Overstock, and Target have previously pulled hoverboard products for periods of time. Plus, the U.S. Postal Service adjusted how they ship them and airlines created their own rules around them too.
However, separately from the fiery recalls and bans, self-balancing scooters cause a whole lot of injuries — seemingly even when they’re not malfunctioning. So, maybe don’t wait for the next recall to reconsider the hoverboard in your life.