Border agents in Scotland have confiscated more than 15,000 hoverboards that have been tested and found to be unsafe, authorities said Dec. 3.

PHMSA Issues Alert on Shipping Hoverboards

PHMSA investigated 32 cargo containers and found that more than 80 percent of the shippers were unable to produce valid test reports to prove the lithium batteries had been properly manufactured and packaged to maintain integrity during transport.

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a safety alert Dec. 24 identifying safety concerns with the transport of hoverboards containing lithium batteries. The alert includes shipping guidance, after PHMSA investigators intercepted 32 cargo containers filled with hoverboards containing lithium batteries that were improperly prepared for shipment of a hazardous material, according to the agency. Similar problems were identified by British border authorities after thousands of hoverboards were seized upon entry into Scotland earlier this month.

"Hoverboards are among the top gifts of the 2015 holiday season, and DOT is working to ensure that hoverboards containing lithium batteries are safely transported," U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said.

According to PHMSA, investigation of the intercepted cargo containers found that more than 80 percent of the shippers were unable to produce valid test reports to prove the lithium batteries had been properly manufactured and packaged to maintain integrity during transport. "It's critical that lithium batteries are packaged and transported according to the correct specifications because, under certain conditions, they can generate heat, catch on fire, and explode during transportation," said PHMSA Administrator Marie Therese Dominguez. "PHMSA is conducting a complete and through investigation to ensure that hoverboards containing lithium batteries are transported in accordance with federal hazardous materials regulations."

For more information about appropriate shipping and handling of lithium batteries, visit http://phmsa.dot.gov/safetravel/batteries or contact PHMSA's Hazardous Materials Information Center at 1-800-467-4972 or at 202-366-4488. For information on air transportation of portable recreational vehicles powered by lithium ion batteries, visit http://www.faa.gov/go/packsafe/.

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