Major concerns have been raised over the safety of hoverboards, following the seizure of 15,000 for investigation by National Trading Standards.

The self-balancing scooters, known as hoverboards, are one of this year’s must-have Christmas gifts with some estimates suggesting that 500,000 people across the UK have bought them as Christmas gifts.

National Trading Standards conducted checks on around 15,000 hoverboards at UK ports and airports and found 88% of them to be defective. The majority of the hoverboards were found to have faulty cables, chargers or plugs that could catch fire and cause serious injury or burns.

Major retailers, including Amazon, Tesco, Argos and John Lewis, have suspended or stopped selling hoverboards and the Retail Ombudsman has stated that any retailers who fail to recall the scooters could be held liable for any injuries caused by the faulty product.

Melanie Williams, a senior serious injury solicitor based in Thompsons Solicitors’ London office, said: “Hoverboards, or self-balancing scooters, have been extremely popular in the run up to Christmas. However, it is vital that consumers are able to purchase products knowing that they are safe and it would seem that the majority of hoverboards haven’t been through the appropriate safety checks.

“The London Fire Brigade has warned that at least three house fires were caused by hoverboards in October, and we would urge anyone who has purchased the product to check with the retailer they bought it from that they can certify that it is safe. It may be a burden to sort that out but better that than someone suffers a serious injury. If you or anyone you know has been injured as a result of a faulty hoverboard or any other defective product then we would urge you to seek legal advice as you may be entitled to make a compensation claim.

“Recalling these products is a start, but it’s now time for import legislation to be tightened to ensure that the goods coming into this country have been rigorously tested to European standards before they get out to the unsuspecting public.”