Just a week ago, the NTS seized as many as 15,000 hoverboards at British ports following safety checks. A number of high street retailers including Halfords and Costco have initiated product recalls and many are urging buyers to check if their hoverboards' pin-plugs have BS1363 printed on them.
As per the Daily Mail, a number of airlines like British Airways and Delta have also banned hoverboards from their flights over safety concerns. As of now, over 500,000 hoverboards have been bought as Christmas gifts.
"Our teams at sea ports, postal hubs and airports have seen a significant spike in the number of unsafe hoverboards arriving at national entry points in recent weeks and are working around the clock to prevent dangerous items from entering the supply chain. We suspect that most of these products are being imported for onward sale domestically as Christmas approaches," said Lord Toby Harris, Chairman of National Trading Standards (NTS).
Cheap Lithium-ion batteries, plugs without fuses, chargers and cabling are chief causes of concern with imported hoverboards which are being manufactured and exported by a large number of Chinese factories.
In a positive move, the Retail Ombudsman has indicated that retail stores which continue to sell unsafe hoverboards may be held liable for any injuries thus caused.
Hoverboards won't be your perfect Christmas gifts, may explode!
"I would urge UK retailers to take the responsible step of removing unsafe hoverboards from sale or face the risk of the full force of the Consumer Protection Act, under which the retailer can be held liable for any injuries caused by unsafe goods.
"Retailers who continue to sell hoverboards, that they deem to be safe, should also take note of the Crown Prosecution Service's position.
"They have made clear that for safety reasons it is illegal to ride these hoverboards in public [on the road or paths] and this important information should be communicated to the consumer at the point of sale.
"Consumers who have already purchased a hoverboard, perhaps as a Christmas present, should contact the retailer and for their written assurance that it's safe and in particular that it has a compliant plug with a fuse," said Dean Dunham, Chief Ombudsman.
So if you're looking to buy a hoverboard this year, it'll be worth waiting until hoverboards in compliance with regulatory standards start arriving at Amazon's stores. Until then, there'll still be a lot of electronic products to choose from as your Christmas presents.