Thousands of hoverboards seized by US customs

Many of the units have counterfeit batteries which could cause fires if overcharged

Over 16,000 seized counterfeit hoverboards sit in a warehouse in Chicago awaiting further processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Credit: Kris Grogan/USCBP

Over 16,000 seized counterfeit hoverboards sit in a warehouse in Chicago awaiting further processing by U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Credit: Kris Grogan/USCBP

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency has seized tens of thousands of hoverboards in the last month in a crack down on a former hot holiday gift that's been held responsible for several home fires.

The seizures have happened at border crossings and customs warehouses across the U.S. and mirror a high-profile raid on the booth of a Chinese hoverboard manufacturer at January's CES in Las Vegas.

The devices, which don't hover but transport a rider balanced on two wheels, are generally being held on charges of trademark infringement.

One of the biggest seizures so far happened in January in the Chicago area, when CBP agents intercepted over 16,000 of the devices worth millions of dollars.

While that represented a record, the CBP said the totals were expected to significantly increase "due to the massive amount of shipments still being processed."

150710 h ab123 006 Kris Grogan/USCBP

A counterfeit hoverboard is on display for a press conference held in Chicago on Jan. 27, 2016, announcing the seizure of more than 16,000 hoverboards.

The hoverboards were seized because they contained batteries that were "unauthorized and therefore counterfeit," the agency said.

A photograph distributed by the CBP shows a green battery pack with a Samsung logo. The battery was not made by Samsung.

150710 h ab123 005 Kris Grogan/USCBP

A hoverboard is taken apart on Jan. 27, 2016, to show reporters what make them counterfeit.

Fake "Samsung" batteries were also what enabled CBP agents to seize hundreds of hoverboards at the Port of Norwalk, Virginia, in late December. Trademark infringement was also cited in the seizure of 1,650 hoverboards in Minnesota in January.

Concerns about defective batteries that burst into flames when overcharged led airlines to ban the devices in December. Amazon, which was a major sales channel for the products, reportedly stopped selling several brands of hoverboard and Overstock pulled them from its website.

150710 h ab123 004 Kris Grogan/USCBP

A CBP Officer assigned to the Chicago Field Office stands in between isles of counterfeit hoverboards seized in Chicago.

Join the newsletter!

Or
Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?