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16,000 counterfeit hoverboards are chilling in a Chicago warehouse

Written by
Clayton Guse

Hoverboards, those two-wheeled, self-balancing scooters that don't actually hover, have become incredibly popular over the past year. It seemed like every snot-nosed kid across the country asked for one of the gadgets during the holiday season, but upon arrival, some users were met with fiery explosions rather than jovial amusement. A new report of a hoverboard spontaneously combusting surfaces pretty much every day, which is a far cry from the experience prophesied by the writers of Back to the Future Part II.

Thanks to a massive seizure at a Chicago area warehouse this week, those explosions could become less of a problem. On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced that it seized more than 16,000 counterfeit hoverboards at a Bensenville, IL warehouse, which have an estimated MSRP of more than $6 million. All of the products contain faulty lithium ion batteries, which have been connected to the destructive fires that have plagued scooter lovers over the past few months. 

The final seizure total in Chicago is expected to increase in the coming weeks due to "the massive amount of shipments that are still being processed," according to a press release from U.S. Customs. The ultimate fate of these confiscated rolling deathtraps? Destruction.

With this bust, Chicago is now home to the largest hoverboard seizure in history... so we've got that going for us. 

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