Shoppers are being warned to be cautious when purchasing gadgets this Christmas after a council has seized a batch of dangerous ‘hoverboards’ in the East Midlands.
The self-balancing scooters – dubbed ‘hoverboards’ – roll on wheels and are this year’s must-have Christmas gift, but Nottinghamshire County Council’s Trading Standards team has seized 19 of them from an importer based in based in the region.
Paul Gretton, Trading Standards officer at the council, said the gadgets, which are believed to be imported from China, are ‘simply not safe’.
He said: “The chargers will just keep charging which means they will overheat and eventually burst into flames and possibly explode”
The importer has sold around 20 on Facebook for approximately £240 each but is now working with the Trading Standards team to contact those who have bought the hoverboards to return them.
The confiscated boards will be tested to find out if the chargers over heat, which is the main problem with hoverboards that are being seized in the UK.
Councillor Glynn Gilfoyle, community safety committee chairman, said the Trading Standards team at the council are working together with colleagues across the UK to tackle this problem.
He said: “We have seized these hoverboards from an importer in the county as they cannot be shown to be safe and compliant with legislation.
“In terms of online sales of these hoverboards, we would urge shoppers to be very careful when making such purchases.
“Also bear in mind the advice on legal use, they could prove to be both dangerous and disappointing presents.”
In a rush to meet the demand, untested and potentially unsafe items have been imported in huge numbers.
Many of the problems include the chargers and internal electronics, which do not meet European or UK standards or come with adequate instructions.
Three house fires have been reported in the country over the last few weeks which are directly linked to the overheating of hoverboards.
The county council is urging people who are looking at buying these items before Christmas to be extra-cautious.
If you have been targeted by a scam, you can report it to the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 040506.