A family have sought legal counsel after a hoverboard purchased at Costco caused a property fire.
The accident occurred in January 2015 when Vinh Hung Chiem and Thu Tram from Wyke, near Bradford, purchased their two children hoverboards from Costco as Christmas gifts. However, when the appliances had been plugged into an electrical socket such that the battery could be charged, the hoverboard caught fire and set light to the family’s home.
A friend of the family, Jibril Fairs – aged eleven – saw the fire and alerted the adults. The and Hung’s children managed to leave the property with only minor burns, after which they were taken to hospital by Thu (who was also in the house when the fire started).
Though the fire did not cause many physical injuries, it did destroy the family’s home. Thu also claims that the children suffer nightmares, telling the BBC that “The kids could have been killed. They all believed they were going to die in the fire. Everything was ruined in the fire… it’s turned our lives upside down”.
An investigation into the accident was carried out by the West Yorkshire Fire Service, which confirmed that the fire had been started by the hoverboard. A spokesperson for the service added that it was probably the lithium batteries used in the hoverboards that caused it to overheat and ignite.
The family has since sought legal advice to investigate whether or not they can make a claim against Costco for product liability. Thu said: “We thought we bought a reliable product from a trusted retailer and we want to know how something with so much potential to cause this type of devastation was sold to us.”
The family’s solicitor commented that the family should be able to make a claim under the Consumer Rights Act 2015. “This is a terrible tragedy and we are looking into this matter but we have no comment at this time.”