An Illinois lab is blowing up hoverboards … to save them

An Illinois lab is blowing up hoverboards … to save them

Hoverboard manufacturers are scrambling after seeing the toys banned from shelves.

Hoverboard manufacturers are flocking to an Illinois lab in order to save their products.

With the recent high-profile shelving of the popular hoverboards due to concerns about it being a safety hazard, leading to lawsuits and bad publicity, safety certification company UL has been hard at work testing the toys to get them back on the market, according to a Chicago Tribune report.

It comes at a time when stores like Toys R Us pulled the toys altogether, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission is threatening to impound or recall hoverboards that haven’t been certified. The popularity of hoverboards have caused manufacturers to scramble for certification to get them back on shelves as soon as possible, although UL wouldn’t reveal to the Tribune which manufacturers had requested certification.

At UL, products like the hoverboard are put through the ringer: they’re submerged in water, electrified, and pounded with heavy objects or shot with a rifle.

And there’s a good reason for this. While your hoverboard is unlikely to be shot with an AK-47 or have a nail put through its battery, the tests can reveal weaknesses in the safety mechanisms that could be exploited by more random and commonplace events, like accidentally running it over in your car or leaving it out in the rain overnight.

So far, not a single hoverboard has been certified, UL noted.

The company announced on Feb. 2 it would be accepting hoverboards for inspection and possible certification.

“UL, a leading global safety science organization, today announced that the company is now accepting product submittals of self-balancing scooters, also known as hoverboards, for construction evaluation, testing, and/or UL certification,” a statement reads. “UL will now be able to test and certify these devices using UL 2272, which covers the electric drive train including the rechargeable battery and charger system combination for use in self-balancing scooters.”

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