Owen WilliamsFormer TNW employee
Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their word Owen was a reporter for TNW based in Amsterdam, now a full-time freelance writer and consultant helping technology companies make their words friendlier. In his spare time he codes, writes newsletters and cycles around the city.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Chairman, Elliot F. Kaye, said today in a statement that the commission is still actively investigating hoverboards and any safety mark is “bogus.”
According to the release, while Underwriters Laboratories (UL) have announced that some parts of hoverboards such as battery packs may be officially certified, there is no official certification for the boards themselves.
Underwriters Laboratories is an independent organization that creates standards and stringently tests products for their safety — approximately 14 billion products are officially approved.
Kaye said that “at this time, the presence of a UL mark on hoverboards or their packaging should not be an indication to consumers of the product’s safety.”
UL also said today that it is “yet to certify any hoverboards for safety” and that it has not evaluated the devices as a whole, as a standard doesn’t exist yet.
The news comes just days after it was alleged that Swagway was adding counterfeit UL safety badges to its hoverboards without any testing ever taking place.
Certification is a voluntary process for manufacturers, and UL is developing requirements for hoverboards to ensure they are safe — but it isn’t ready yet.
The group started looking into hoverboards when it became clear that many were made of low-quality materials and were catching fire or causing injuries to their users.
Amazon pulled sales of all hoverboards as a result, offering full refunds.
For now, Kaye says that you can assume that “any such [UL] mark is at best misleading and may even be a sign of a counterfeit product.”
➤ Statement from CPSC on hoverboards [CPSC]
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