NJ attorney to file suit against makers of hoverboards

A New Jersey attorney is expected to file

A New Jersey attorney is expected to file a class-action lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of hoverboards. (Credit: File Photo)

EDISON - A New Jersey attorney says that he is planning on filing a class action lawsuit against the manufacturers and distributors of a popular holiday gift.

Attorney Joe Santoli tells News 12 New Jersey that he plans to file the suit against hoverboards in New Jersey, New York and California. Hoverboards are motorized, two-wheel, skateboard-sized scooters that users stand on. They have been a hot gift item at some retailers.

Santoli’s suit claims that hoverboards are unreasonably dangerous because they use lithium batteries that are “notoriously unstable” and “prone to fire.” He says that there have been numerous reports of fires related to the boards.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating at least 10 reports of hoverboard fires, some of which were captured on video. Spokeswoman Patty Davis called it a high-priority investigation because of the scooter's sudden popularity.

"We know consumers are giving it as a gift during the holidays," she said. "We are working all across the country to move our investigation into the fires forward as quickly as possible."

Several airlines have banned the hoverboards in checked or carry-on luggage due to the fire risk.

The Federal Aviation Administration has urged airlines to tell passengers not to pack spare batteries in checked bags because they can ignite and cause a fire in the cargo compartment. More than a dozen airlines around the world have stopped accepting bulk shipments of lithium-ion batteries.

Santoli’s suit will demand the immediate recall of the hoverboards and refunds of the full purchase price for consumers who bought them.

The Associated Press wire services contributed to this report.

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