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What's wrong with hoverboards and what to do if you've got one

image copyrightGetty Images

Earlier this week Amazon stopped selling hoverboards - now it's told customers to get rid of them.

It reportedly sent emails to anyone who's bought them, suggesting they take them to a recycling centre because of safety concerns.

John Lewis and Argos have also now stopped stocking Swegway products.

So what's wrong with them and what can you do if you're faced with chucking out the gadget formerly known as 2015's must-have gift?

image copyrightTrading Standards
image captionOne of the faulty boards seized by Trading Standards earlier this month

There have been lots of issues raised about faulty wires, rechargeable batteries and chargers.

According to Trading Standards, many have plugs without fuses, faulty cables or chargers that can overheat or burst into flames.

It said that 88% of the 15,000 hoverboards it's seized around the UK were found to be defective.

image copyrightLFB
image captionTwo men had to escape from a first floor window in Morden, south London, after a "hoverboard" exploded, London Fire Brigade said

Earlier this month, the London Fire Brigade said at least three house fires were caused by such devices over 10 days in October.

The government has warned consumers to "think twice" about buying them because of fears over imitation devices being sold at discount prices.

If anything does go wrong the shop which sold you a board is responsible for any injuries, which is why lots of places have stopped selling them.

image copyrightTrading Standards
image captionFaulty chargers often have a clover-shaped plug

The Retail Ombudsman, whose job it is to sort out disputes between retailers and customers, has urged shops not to sell hoverboards unless they can be sure they're safe.

Its boss Dean Dunham added: "Consumers who have already purchased a hoverboard, perhaps as a Christmas present, should contact the retailer and for their written assurance that it's safe."

If the place where you bought your board can't guarantee that it's safe, you're entitled to a refund under the Consumer Rights Act.

You can tell Citizens Advice about any issues, or to let them know about any dodgy boards being sold, by calling 03454 04 05 06.

Trading Standards has also said to check for "clover-shaped" plugs and to not be tempted to buy a board if the price seems low.

Argos told Newsbeat: "Should any customer be concerned about their product, they can return it to their nearest Argos store for a full refund.

"We apologise to customers for any inconvenience this may cause."

John Lewis added that it "advises customers to not use the Selfy Stick Air Runner" and that it is "making every effort to contact all customers who have purchased the product".

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Related Topics

  • Amazon