ACCC publishes the mandatory safety standard Consumer protection notice No. 7 of 2016 for two-wheeled self-balancing scooters which are also known as hoverboards, gliders, smart boards, sky walkers and mod boards. The standard will be in force for two years from 17 July 2016 and replaces the interim ban on hoverboards that do not meet specific safety requirements which commenced on 19 March 2016 and ended on 16 July 2016.
The purpose of the safety standard is to reduce the serious injury to consumers from house fires caused by self-balancing scooters. In addition, safety requirements for rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and battery control systems in self-balancing scooters are also introduced in the standard.
Self-balancing scooters must comply either the specific safety requirements in (1) or (2) below:
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) standards:
a. for batteries specified in IEC 62133; and b. for battery control systems preventing electrical appliances from attaining excessive temperatures in normal use specified in section 11 as amended by Annex B, of IEC 60335-1 or AS/NZS 60335.1; and c. for battery control systems preventing abnormal operation of electrical appliances specified in section 19, as amended by Annex B, of IEC 60335-1 or AS/NZS 60335.1
The requirements specified in the following sections of the Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) document UL 2272 for:
a. Fuses as specified in section 11; and
b. Protective circuits and safety analysis as specified in sub-sections 15.1, 15.2, 15.3,15.4 and 15.5; and
c. Cells as specified in section 16; and
d. Overcharging as specified in section 23; and
e. Short circuit protection as specified in section 24; and
f. Temperature control as specified in section 26; and
g. Cell imbalanced charging as specified in section 27
This solution would allow sufficient time for State and Territory regulators to align electrical safety legislation and provide a long term solution to unsafe self-balancing scooters. In the meanwhile, a new Australian/New Zealand voluntary standard is being developed and is expected to be completed at the end of 2016. The ACCC could possibly declare this new standard to be a mandatory safety standard in the future.