Caught on Camera: Hoverboard Catches on Fire on Koreatown Sidewalk

A Los Angeles man said he was riding his new $600 hoverboard in the Koreatown section of the city Wednesday morning when it suddenly caught fire.

Delvon Simmons was riding the hoverboard around 11:45 a.m. near Vermont Avenue and W. 8th Street when the wheels began smoking, he said.

Simmons said officers noticed the smoke and the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to put out the fire. Cellphone video shows the device erupts into flames. The hoverboard was apparently destroyed.

Simmons said he owned the hoverboard for about four to five months and never had any issues. He said the hoverboard was not overcharged.

The device was manufactured in China, Simmons said. He doesn't believe he will receive a refund.

Simmons' case follows several similar reports involving the self-balancing electric scooters, popular holiday gift items. Firefighters in South Carolina responded to a home earlier this week when a hoverboard exploded after being charged. No injuries were reported.

A New Jersey family said a hoverboard purchased as a Christmas gift exploded and caught fire last week in their living room, and in California, another hoverboard "burst into flames" earlier this month. No serious injuries were reported.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation into the safety of hoverboards.

The three largest U.S. airlines banned the devices because of potential fire danger from the lithium-ion batteries that power them. Experts urge people to charge the boards in dry, open areas, preferably outside and only when they can be closely watched.

The motorized devices prompted legislation in California, where anyone under the age of 16 will not be allowed to ride a hoverboard on public roadways, starting Jan. 1. Assembly Bill 604, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, requires users to wear a helmet and will limit hoverboards on roads with speed limits that are 35 mph or less.

Hoverboard operators can only ride 15 mph and must ride in the bike lanes, according to the new law. Anyone in violation of the new rules or riding under the influence could face a fine of $250.

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