Amazon Ceases Swagway Hoverboard Sales Over Exploding Battery Fears

Two-wheeled hoverboards have been making headlines this holiday shopping season, though not all the attention they're receiving has been positive. Instead, there have several reports of hoverboards overheating and catching fire, and it's because of those reports that Amazon has quietly decided to remove all traces of Swagway's models from its online store.

According to Swagway, Amazon sent a notice 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 Hoverboard

"Swagway already meets all those certifications and is happy that Amazon has decided to take steps to weed out the low quality boards. As safety is always on the forefront for Swagway, we're glad that this is taking place, especially in light of recent concerns with the fires with the poor quality batteries," Swagway said in a statement.

If what Swagway says is true, it's a bit curious that other brand hoverboards remain listed on Amazon's website, including several that qualify for free shipping through Amazon's Prime membership program. A cursory glance shows hoverboards (or "self balancing scooters") from Jetson, Razor, and Hoever X readily available to purchase.

Consisting of a balance board with a wheel on each side, these hoverboards are similar in function to the Segway Human Transporter. Amazon isn't the only once with concerns about their safety. Back in November, New York City banned the use of hoverboards on streets, sidewalks, and parking lots, limiting their use to parks. Those caught disobeying the ordinance could face a fine of up to $200.

New York's objection has more to do with crowded streets and walkways than it does with fire hazards. At issue for Amazon and other retailers taking similar action is the use of large and shoddy lithium-ion batteries. There have already been reports of these things catching on fire, at least one of which was a Swagway brand hoverboard.

Check out this photo  from a fire department in Chappaqua, New York:

Swagway Hoverboard Fire

"The Chappaqua Fire Department Responded to a home this evening where an electrical malfunction caused a Swagway Smart Balancing Electric Skateboard Black (purchased from Modell's Online) to catch fire and cause considerable smoke damage to the residence . Had the homeowners not been home at the time, their home would have sustained significant fire damage," the fire department said.

Scary stuff.