Jetson Hoverboard Recall After Two Deaths
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced the recall of approximately 53,000 Jetson Rogue 42-volt self-balancing scooters/hoverboards, due to the lithium-ion battery packs overheating and fire hazards. This follows a tragic fire in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, on April 1, 2022, which caused the death of two girls aged 10 and 15. The fire was determined to have originated from the 42-volt Jetson Rogue hoverboard.
Multiple reports of the recalled hoverboards sparking, burning, flaming, or melting have been filed. Consumers are urged to immediately stop charging or using the recalled hoverboards. Instructions for submitting required photographs and proper disposal of the hoverboard can be found at www.ridejetson.com/rogue-recall.
The recalled hoverboards were sold at Target stores nationwide and online between August 2018 and June 2019, and at www.ridejetson.com from January 2019 through November 2021, priced between $100 and $150. The CPSC also reminds consumers to exercise caution when using devices such as hoverboards, ensuring they are present during charging and using only the supplied charger.
Previous Lithium Battery Recalls
The CPSC has performed at least 63 recalls of lithium-ion batteries since 2011. The highest volume of recalls occurred in 2016-2017, targeting other hoverboards popular at the time as well as laptop computer batteries. The CPSC further stepped up communication to consumers about lithium-ion battery risk following a series of house fires in 2017.
On February 22nd, 2018, the CPSC sent letters to manufacturers, importers, distributors, and retailers of hoverboards and other battery powered scooters regarding the growing established risk of battery fires and battery explosions. From the letter:
From December 1, 2015 through February 2, 2018, CPSC received reports from consumers in 44 states of 283 self-balancing scooter fire or overheating incidents resulting in 15 burn injuries, seven smoke inhalation injuries, and more than $9 million in property damage, including the destruction of six homes and two automobiles. These incidents overwhelmingly involved self-balancing scooters that did not comply with the UL standard.
In one of these incidents, in March 2017, two children died from burn injuries suffered in a house fire in Harrisburg, Pa. Local fire officials stated that a charging hoverboard caused the fire. The hoverboard did not comply with the UL standard.
Manufacturing these products in compliance with the UL standard significantly reduces the risk of injuries and deaths from hoverboard fires. Indeed, consumers face an unreasonable risk of fire and risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters do not meet the UL standard.
Section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b), requires every manufacturer, importer, distributor, and retailer of consumer products to report immediately to the Commission when the firm obtains information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a product distributed in commerce contains a defect that could create a substantial product hazard or that the product creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death. The statute also provides for imposition of civil and criminal penalties for failing to report the required information.
Section 15(b) of the CPSA, 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b)
Section 15(b) of the Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA), 15 U.S.C. § 2064(b), is a provision that requires manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to report to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) if they obtain information that reasonably supports the conclusion that a consumer product:
- Fails to comply with an applicable consumer product safety rule or with any other rule, regulation, standard, or ban under the CPSA or any other Act enforced by the CPSC;
- Contains a defect which could create a substantial product hazard; or
- Creates an unreasonable risk of serious injury or death.
The purpose of this provision is to protect consumers from potentially hazardous products by ensuring that the CPSC is made aware of safety issues so they can take appropriate action, such as issuing recalls or developing safety standards. Companies are legally obligated to report such information to the CPSC within 24 hours of discovering it, and failure to do so can result in significant civil and criminal penalties.
Lithium Battery Test Summaries
Since January 1st, 2022 the Department of Transportation has required each manufacturer or distributor of lithium cell batteries maintain a test summary document. It applies to all batteries manufactured on or after January 1st, 2008.
This is a global requirement for both domestic and international transportation. The test summary must include the manufacturer’s name and contact information, test laboratory name and contact information, a unique test report ID number, date of test report, cell or battery description, list of tests conducted and results, reference to assembled battery testing requirements if applicable, and a signature with the name and title of the signatory.
The list of battery tests include:
- Altitude simulation
- Thermal test
- Vibration test
- Shock test
- External short test
- Impact/Crush test
- Overcharge test
- Forced discharge test
Battery Explosion and Battery Fire Lawsuits
Injuries from battery fires and explosions have become more common as more and more devices contain lithium batteries and use larger lithium batteries. Some of the larger recalls in the news resulting in lawsuits include:
Samsung Galaxy Note 7: Samsung faced multiple lawsuits after its Galaxy Note 7 smartphones were reported to catch fire or explode due to faulty lithium-ion batteries in 2016. The company eventually recalled millions of devices and discontinued the product.
Hoverboards: There have been several lawsuits related to hoverboards catching fire or exploding.
E-cigarettes and vape devices: There have been numerous lawsuits filed against e-cigarette and vape device manufacturers, retailers, and distributors over the years, as these devices have been known to explode or catch fire, allegedly due to faulty lithium-ion batteries. Several deaths have occurred from the fire or shrapnel coming from the battery and device during an explosion. 18650 battery cells frequently are used without standard protections in vape designs, resulting in great potential for catastrophic failure.
Electric vehicles: Automakers like Tesla and General Motors have faced lawsuits related to lithium-ion battery fires in their electric vehicles. These lawsuits have typically alleged that the companies were aware of the potential risks and failed to take adequate measures to ensure the safety of their battery and vehicles.
Personal Injury Consultation
Those experiencing a serious injury face incredible costs to cover healthcare, rehabilitation, and home support. They also often have lost wages. Initial medical bills are one aspect of how the injury impacts your family.
Working with an attorney can help you recover lost wages and receive the needed compensation to ensure continued coverage for substantial long term costs. Schneider Wallace is a trial law firm. Our attorneys have the experience to handle all aspects of a case, including a full trial. Schneider Wallace has offices in multiple states, attorneys licensed in many more, and can work with local attorneys in any of the 50 states.
To contact Pete Schneider, Amy Eskin, Ryan Hicks, or another experienced personal injury attorney at Schneider Wallace, please contact us at 1-800-689-0024 or email@example.com.