Just like our smartphones, tablets, and laptops, the lithium-ion batteries found in these products are prone to defects. However, at the foot rest of the popular 2015 “Hoverboards” the “cheap” battery is a lot more dangerous. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) conducted tests on models to determine the cause of the fires. This resulted in a massive recall of over half a million hover boards. The issue has become so serious that major airlines have banned hover boards on board – U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized nearly 1,400 hover boards in JFK alone last December. If you or someone you know has been injured while being around a hoverboard, contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney immediately.
At least 99 incidents have been reported of battery packs overheating, sparking, smoking, catching fire and/or exploding. These incidents have lead to burns, injuries and property damage. Following the July, 2016 recall, The CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using the following recalled products:
Depending on the above model, you will either receive a refund, repair or replacement.
What makes hover boards so dangerous is not the product itself, but the batteries in them. To meet the high demand, brands are using cheaper components to lure shoppers in for a more affordable hands-free segway. The quality and consistency of these batteries are typically not as good as what is found in laptops and other consumer products.
Each battery contains a “separator” designed to separate the anode and cathode – which is what the current flows through – so nothing short circuits. In a cheaper battery, the separator may not be aligned correctly. Due to impurities in metal particles, the separator could be prone to small holes. The punctured separator, therefore, can result in a short circuit. Another practice that can can lead to short circuit is overcharging. Lithium ion batteries cannot accept overcharge, which is why products contain cut-off mechanisms. Your hoverboard’s charger detects when the battery is charged, and stops the charging process automatically. However, defects in this feature, may lead to overcharging and therefore a fire.
Most modern batteries now incorporate all kinds of safety measures such as emergency vents, but because hover boards are new, it’s a product without a safety standard. If you or someone you know has been injured while using a hoverboard, contact a personal injury attorney immediately.
And although batteries have been the main cause of hover board fires, a defected charger could also lead to a scooter explosion. The best way to prevent a hover board to burst into flames is to buy from a trusted manufacturer, but that could be difficult to tell given this category is completely new. This fad makes it difficult to tell which of these companies will even be around in the coming years, let alone, which ones are the safest.Another way is to keep a close eye on the charging process and even use an external universal charger for safer precautions. Also make sure to take good care of the hover board as to not drop it, kick it, or hit sharp objects with it that could potentially damage the separator sheets.
As much as a consumer can do to protect the safety of himself/herself and others around them, product defects still occur and it’s important to contact a Sacramento personal injury attorney for help.
The Weinberger Law Firm has years of experience handling personal injury cases so we understand how difficult and stressful this time may be. You can trust that our accident attorney will provide the compassion and dedication you need to get the compensation you deserve. Give us a call at (916) 357-6767 for a free consultation.
If you have a Kidde NightHawk combination smoke/CO alarm installed in your house, immediately stop using it and replace it for a new alarm. Kidde’s technologies are supposed to be designed to protect you from threats, but unfortunately, Kidde had to recall their combination alarms.
Usually, when the battery life in the alarm is coming to an end, a chirping sound begins to indicate the battery needs to be replaced. With this alarm, however, the chirping sound fails to initiate, which leads the consumers in believing the alarm is still working, when it isn’t. It therefore defeats the point of having an alarm as it won’t alert you in case of a fire.
Kidde had sold 3.6 million alarms in the U.S. and about 1.5 million in Canada. No injuries have been reported yet, but if you had a combo smoke/CA alarm with the model number KN-COSM-IB and suffered an injury because of this product defect, you need to contact a skilled personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and represent you in court.
The manufacture dates of these alarms range between June 1, 2004 and December 31, 2010. It’s appearance is like most alarms – round, white and measures about 5-6 inches in diameter. It has a “Kidde” engraved on the front with the model number and manufacture date on the back. It is important you look at your smoke alarm to see if it fits the model number and lies in that date range. Kidde will replace the alarm or give you a discount.
If fires were a result of a product defect, such negligence should be held accountable. In addition to property damage, fires can also cause burns and scarring to victims or even death. If you suffered from an injury due to this product’s defect, contact Sacramento personal injury attorney at The Weinberger Law Firm immediately.