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US Bans Hoverboard Imports – Hoverboards Banned

And not because of them catching fire!

The U.S. Just Banned Hoverboard Imports

And it has nothing to do with their fiery explosions.

The International Trade Commission announced Wednesday that the United States is banning imports of so-called hoverboards.

But while some brands of the auto-balancing scooters are known to spontaneously combust, the U.S.’s decision had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with a request from Segway, the hoverboard’s nerdy uncle.

Hoverboards are often described in media reports as Segways without handlebars, or a cooler Segway. But it turns out the new scooters have more in common with their Paul Blart-endorsed predecessor than meets the eye.

Segway filed a complaint with the ITC in 2014, claiming that hoverboards, the vast majority of which are manufactured in China, infringed on some of their patents and copyrights. The particular patents they listed mostly have to do with technologies that allow Segways to self-balance and read user inputs.

“In recent years, there has been an influx of low quality two-wheel personal transporters built on the intellectual property developed by DEKA and Segway,” the company, which licenses the technology from research firm DEKA, said at the time. “If this influx is allowed to continue, this iconic American product and the U.S. jobs dependent on it will be threatened.”

While Segway is based in New Hampshire and continues to manufacture its products there, it was bought last April by Ninebot, a Chinese company that Segway actually listed as a respondent in its 2014 complaint.

The ITC’s ruling goes on to name several brands that are no longer allowed to be imported into the country, including UPTECH, U.P. Technology, U.P. Robotics, FreeGo China, Ecoboomer and Roboscooters.

Segway said it would work with both U.S. customs and the ITC to help implement the ban, although demand for these products is likely at a new low. Just last month, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced voluntary safety standards for all manufacturers, importers and retailers of self-balancing scooters due to their pesky tendency to catch on fire. Online retailer Amazon even agreed to refund all hoverboard purchases.

All of which means there might be a gaping new hole in the self-balancing scooter market. One that Segway could be poised to fill if it would only get cracking on asmaller, cooler-looking model.

The last isn’t going to happen. Segway will continue to sell vastly overpriced product now that there is no competition.

 
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Posted by on March 17, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off, News

 

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Hoverboard Fire…Again

BTx3 suggested crossing those Hoverboard things off the Christmas list a while back…If you got one of these, you may want to consider buying a loooong extension cord…To charge it outdoors.

Hoverboard fire destroys $1 million home

The Nashville Fire Department says two fires in the last three months were caused by hoverboards.

One of the fires destroyed a $1 million home early last month. According to a statement from the Fire Department, two teens living in the home hid upstairs after hearing noises from downstairs. The noise wasn’t a burglar but their FITURBO F1 hoverboard exploding into flames. A 16-year-old girl had to jump out the second-floor window into her father’s arms due to smoke and a 14-year-old boy was helped down by the dad with the use of a ladder. Both teens suffered minor injuries and the 4,000 square foot home was destroyed.

An investigation found friends of this same family also had an issue when a hoverboard purchased in the same batch caught fire after the battery compartment caught fire. Only the hoverboard was damaged during that fire.

Tennessee Commerce & Insurance Deputy Commissioner Gary West warned “consumers about so-called ‘hoverboard’ devices becoming potential fire hazards to Tennessee consumers.”

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2016 in Great American Rip-Off

 

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