You wouldn't have known it from the steady pop-pop-pop of exploding hoverboards this past holiday season, from the noxious battery smoke hovering from Brooklyn to New Jersey, from the PSAs and City Council debates and street fights, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection has been busy fighting the War Against Counterfeit Chargeable Skateboards That Might Spontaneously Combust.
The CBP says it confiscated 1,378 (1,378!) counterfeit hoverboards at JFK airport in December alone. Apparently made in China with sub-par batteries, the lot would have been worth $447,000 at market value.
As CBP's New York Director Robert Perez put it, "The interception of these potentially dangerous hoverboards is a direct reflection of the vigilance and commitment to mission success." That, and killing fun.
Unfortunately for thrill seeking (or lazy) New Yorkers, even legit boards aren't wanted here. Get your hands on a board with a legitimate battery, and you're still dealing with an unregistered motor vehicle that isn't allowed to set wheels on a sidewalk, subway, bus, Amtrak train, or Access-a-Ride.
And just yesterday, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USPC) sent a notice to all retailers, manufacturers and importers mandating that hoverboards not compliant with new safety regulations be confiscated immediately.
This order isn't the same as a nationwide ban on the boards, but it is likely to prompt recalls.
"This is us drawing a line in the sand and a notice for the entire hoverboard community," CPSC Chairman Elliot Kaye told Mashable this week. "From our perspective, a smart retailer will put in place a stop sale to find out if their inventory complies with our standard. If they are certain that it doesn’t, they should then issue a recall proposal."