At the time of this writing Amazon and other big box retailers have temporarily removed all hoverboards from their shelves and are no doubt awaiting Underwriters Laboratories (UL) safety certifications. UL is an independent scientific laboratory responsible with scientific safety testing on consumer products.
The move to remove the boards from store shelves comes days after the CSPC (the US Consumer Product Safety Commission) released new mandatory safety regulations for all electric standing scooter manufactures, distributers, and retailers.
Underwriters Laboratories has devised custom testing procedures specifically for hoverboards. This extensive testing covers everything that makes up the board. So they are testing the overall product itself, not just individual components within the product. UL is going to test from the ground up. From the materials that make up the shell, the insulating materials, motors, switches, individual battery cells, battery packs, battery chargers, all the electrical circuitry, and wiring of the device. This is going to be a top to bottom comprehensive safety test.
This is really something exciting for both the hoverboard industry and consumers alike. The end result will be that the ENTIRE hoverboard will be UL safety certified instead of just some parts inside the gadget.
All hoverboards sold in the US will then come with the UL safety sticker on the product packaging so that consumers will know that the product they are buying is safe.
Hopefully this will mostly put an end to exploding hoverboards catching fire. We did a full write up on this subject covering everything you need to know to avoid dangerous knock off boards. The new safety certifications will make it a LOT easier for us to figure out which boards are safe and which ones are a dangerous fire hazard.
Regardless though we still need to remain vigilant on avoiding fake products. Making something illegal never stops dishonest people from making fake products. They will no doubt continue to be illegally shipped in. From fake Rolex watches, to purses, and sunglasses. Fakes are everywhere. The guidelines we lay out should help you to avoid this and make sure you only buy real genuine safe UL certified hoverboards.
CNET put out a great video about the new UL hoverboard certification process. This is exciting stuff: