Amazon 'pulls sales of hoverboards' amid safety concerns

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Amazon has stopped selling hoverboards amid growing concerns over the safety of the popular gadget, a major manufacturer has said.

Swagway, which makes the self-balancing boards, said a "widespread notice" has been sent to sellers on the online retail site asking them to prove their products are compliant with safety standards.

It appears that listings for hoverboards have since been removed from Amazon UK, with only product accessories remaining on sale.

Earlier this month, National Trading Standards said 15,000 of the 17,000 self-balancing scooters examined since October 15 had been seized, mainly for having non-compliant electrical components that could explode or catch fire.

Many of the boards were found to have non-compliant plugs without fuses, which increase the risk of the device overheating, exploding or catching fire, and cut-off switches which failed when tested.

Chargers, cabling and batteries were also found to fail safety standards.

Swagway said: "Amazon sent out a notice on Friday ... to all 'hoverboard' sellers to 'provide documentation demonstrating that all hoverboards you list are compliant with applicable safety standards, including UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger)'.

"Swagway is and has been from the start, UL, FCC, CE, RohS, Prop 65 and UN38.3 certified and has passed all testing in adherence to government guidelines. On that end, Swagway has already sent over the requested information to Amazon."

It added: "As safety is on the forefront for Swagway, we applaud Amazon for taking these steps to weed out the low quality boards and want to note that this removal is not specific to Swagway, but includes 97% of the other branded hoverboards that were also selling on their site."

Laws banning the use of motorised devices such as hoverboards and single-wheeled ''monopods" on public roads or pavements were introduced in October, although they are expected to still be best-sellers this Christmas.

Amazon UK has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Consumer Minister Nick Boles said shoppers should "think twice" before buying a hoverboard this Christmas.

He said: "At this time of year, consumers are under pressure to get the best presents for their loved ones; however, it is important that their safety is put above all else.

"Following recent reports of unsafe hoverboards, shoppers should think twice before choosing a product with a price that appears too good to be true.

"If anyone suspects that one of these popular Christmas gifts is not genuine, please report it to the Citizens Advice consumer helpline."