Federal authorities seize hoverboards in Miami

Authorities say $94,000 in hoverboards held at Port of Miami


MIAMI – Although hoverboards continue to catch on fire, the mini-segways and the copycats keep on arriving to the Port of Miami in droves from China.

The demand for the hot item remains despite reports that hoverboards have exploded while users charged the lithium ion batteries. And there was at least one incident when it reportedly set a home on fire. As of last week federal authorities were investigating 37 fires in 19 states. 

Authorities believe some "substandard and counterfeit lithium ion batteries" may be to blame, U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokeswoman Migdalia Arteaga said in a press release Tuesday. 

On Thursday at the Port of Miami, CBP officers identified some 300 hoverboards with counterfeit batteries. The merchandise seized in Miami was worth about $94,000, Arteaga said. CBP Port Director Dylan DeFrancisci said the Miami seaport trade enforcement team has children's safety in mind. 

CBP has also seized counterfeit products at ports in Virginia. And in Las Vegas, U.S. Marshals seized a cheaper copycat version of the hoverboard at a trade show after an emergency court order. Future Motion sued Changzhou First International Trade Co. for infringement.  

Despite the trouble and safety concerns, hoverboards are here to stay and experts believe consumers need to be aware of the safe options.

PC Magazine's Sascha Segan recommends the Swagway X1 only if it is purchased directly from Swagway's website and not through a retailer. And he is also looking forward to the Ninebot MiniPro coming to Amazon and the new Swagtron


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