It's the end of an era for the misnomered two-wheeler of our time. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) officially deigned hoverboards to be 100 percent lethal (actual words: "pose an unreasonable risk of fire" and "consumers risk serious injury or death if their self-balancing scooters ignite or burn") in an open letter to manufacturers and retailers, and now, Amazon has as well.
The online retailer has silently but officially pulled hoverboards from its site entirely, with no written statement explaining why — even though the answer is glaringly obvious.
The wipe has proven to be extensive. According to Mashable, a simple Amazon search for any hoverboard-related term, whether it be a brand or a general term, will only come up with results for hoverboard accessories like "hoverboard wheels, carrying cases and stickers," and clicking on an ad for a two-wheeler takes any given user to a 404 page. The same doesn't necessarily go for brand pages, but it's ultimately similar: they either turn up blank or as "temporarily out of stock" — which, unless you're in the know, is a bit of a mislabel.
We followed suit with a search, and it turned out exactly the same.
While the move might be sudden, it can in no way be considered irrational. Not counting the plethora of prohibitive legal measures, bans and and area restrictions tailored specifically for the scooter everywhere from the subways of New York to entire countries like Denmark, the CPSC drew its own conclusion from an investigation conducted specifically by the agency, using detailed testimonies and data from myriad reports sent in between Dec. 1, 2015 and Feb. 17, 2016.
The only line that seems to have evaded Amazon's scourge is Swagway, which produces boards the company maintains as of yesterday are "the safest on the market" — despite the fact that the manufacturer urged customers not to use their product only two days prior, a move as damaging to the company's reputation as it is confusing.
Like any proper secret agent would tell you, Amazon has yet to comment on its swift, assassin-like actions, but the CPSC has already publicly praised the company for its preference for customer safety over moving units in the past — like when the retailer refunded customers who had purchased boards late last year.
"I want to commend Amazon for voluntarily stepping up, providing a free remedy and putting customer safety first," said CPSC chairman Elliot F. Kaye in response to the retailer's previous decision in January.