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January 21, 2016

Amazon offers full refunds on all hoverboards due to safety concerns

Amazon is now offering full refunds on all hoverboards sold on the site, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Wednesday.

Since the devices have become more and more popular, reports of them catching fire have popped up all over the country because of issues with the lithium-ion batteries that power them.

The CPSC, which has been investigating hoverboard safety issues since December, praised Amazon's decision.

"I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first," CPSC Chairman Elliot F. Kaye said in a statement.

"At first glance, it is easy to believe the risk of falling off a hoverboard is an obvious one and to dismiss those injuries as user inexperience or error. However, I am concerned, for example, that the current designs of these products might not take fully into consideration the different weights of different users, potentially leading to the units speeding up or lurching."

Kaye added that he expects other retailers and manufacturers of hoverboards to take action as well.

Dozens of colleges across the country have banned the device from their campuses recently, including Temple University and New Jersey's Kean University.

The device has also been the subject of several recent thefts and robberies in Philadelphia.

Anyone interested in returning their hoverboard can contact Amazon customer service.

While the company is offering refunds, the website still offers a number of hoverboards for sale.