Swagways have likely become the most wanted gift this Christmas following their explosive popularity on the Internet over the past few months, but there’s a huge problem, that “hoverboard” sitting under your tree could be a ticking time bomb and Amazon is urging customers to get rid.
Yep, since their appearance in various videos on YouTube, everyone has wanted one of the handle-free segways, also known as hoverboards, or alternatively, swagways. The only problem is, when things become popular, specifically tech, in comes a thousand imitations and in this case, those imitations are causing trouble because thanks to a bit of a mess with patent holders, the market was seen as an open field and unregulated with retailers ordering a number of the swagways in bulk from China, cutting corners in quality control.
It seems a number of Swagways around the world have been blowing up, bursting into flames, and causing general nuisance and Amazon is asking customers to chuck theirs in the bin… Well, not quite, but they’re asking customers to take their unsafe hoverboards to their local recycling point for disposal. They’re also issuing refunds on these purchases even if they were made months ago.
Amazon has been emailing a number of customers who purchased at least one model of Swagway, specifically the “RioRand Two Wheels Self Balancing Electric Scooter With Key Switch – Red.” model.
In the email, Amazon wrote:
“we’ve received information that your [self-balancing scooter] purchased through the Amazon.co.uk website […] is unsafe for use as this product is supplied with a non-compliant UK plug.”
This follows Amazon’s recent removal of the scooters from the online marketplace after incidents were reported of explosions, fires, and more. Since then, both John Lewis and Argos have pulled Swagways from sale, and in the US Target has also followed suit.
Recently, over 17,000 have also been seized at UK ports and examined by the UK Trading Standards body. Out of that fairly substantial number, 15,000 failed basic power-related safety checks, including problems with the plug, cabling, charger, battery, and the cut-off switch, probably the most important parts.
Simply put, either bin that hoverboard or check with the retailer you purchased it from to receive “written assurance” that it’s safe and “has a compliant plug with a fuse.”