Amazon knew hoverboards were catching fire but kept quiet before blaze destroyed Tenn. home

 

Nashville mother Megan Fox didn’t know her hoverboard might explode, but Amazon did.

Now, a federal appellate court says the nation’s largest online retailer may well have to shell out damages for a fire that trapped Fox’s children, forced them to leap from a second-story window and destroyed the family’s $1 million home.

Amazon knew the hoverboards — skateboard-like devices powered by a battery pack — being peddled by Chinese manufacturers on its website during the 2015 Christmas shopping season were exploding, the 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled last week.

The court ruled Amazon quietly stopped hoverboard sales after its investigation yielded proof of the fire danger but never told Fox or the 250,000 other buyers that season. Instead, Amazon sent a vaguely worded email about “news reports of safety issues” with products containing lithium-ion batteries, the court stated.

The email did not tell purchasers about what Amazon had done to determine whether the hoverboards were dangerous, that its investigation discovered the risk of fire or explosion or that the retailer has stopped all hoverboard sales worldwide, the opinion says.

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