Product Safety & Recall

Making Hoverboards Safer

Product Recall and Safety-Hoverboards

Developing safer micromobility and consumer electronics products

When hoverboards first hit the market in 2013, consumers reported issues with overheating and catching fire — by the summer of 2016, 10 distributors and manufacturers recalled about 500,000 hoverboards.

The Challenge

Despite incident reports that included battery packs sparking, smoking, catching fire, and even exploding, hoverboards gained popularity and sales increased. Exponent's clients asked for help determining the root cause of failures as well as how to minimize the risk of future problems.

Exponent's MULTIDISCIPLINARY Solution  

What's the best way to advance safety for a new — and rapidly evolving — product category? Our engineers and scientists analyzed failures down to the cell level in numerous hoverboard models to understand why and how things can go wrong, including issues related to lithium-ion batteries, battery chargers, motherboards, and overall design.

Exponent's Impact

Studying consumer hoverboard battery failures paved the way for next-generation technology for our clients — and led to safer and more reliable lithium-ion products.

Exponent was able to leverage our experience in best practices in other consumer electronics and transportation sectors with respect to the design, manufacture, and management of lithium-ion batteries to provide guidance on putting a safer product in the hands of consumers.