Some iPods Pose Fire, Burn Hazards, No Recall in SightJul 23, 2009 | Parker Waichman LLP
Despite alleged efforts on the part of Apple to keep reports of iPod fires from the public, it seems that the popular devices have reportedly overheated, even flaming and smoking. These incidents have reportedly resulted in physical injury and property damage, the San Francisco Gate just reported, citing Seattle television station KIRO-TV.
The exclusive KIRO-TV report said that it took over seven months for its Consumer Investigator, Amy Clancy, to obtain documents from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) due to numerous exemptions filed by attorneys at Apple. Finally, the agency released hundreds of pages—over 800, in all—indicating that iPods have spontaneously “burst into flames, started to smoke, and even burned their owners,” said KIRO-TV.
One customer, upset over being burned by her iPod device, contacted Apple and was told she experienced an isolated incident, said KIRO-TV. The consumer asked Apple for documentation on the phenomena and for details on its corrective actions, but was told that she “wouldn’t be able to have access to it,” quoted KIRO-TV. Another consumer, whose daughter was burned by her iPod, said she got the “run-around” from Apple customer service.
KIRO 7 was able to find a number of situations in which consumers were charred and iPods had melted. The KIRO 7 investigation also revealed that the Japanese government issued a warning about "a number of accidents in which iPod Nanos" overheated and sparked, injuring two people.
Filing a Freedom of Information Act request with the CPSC to see all complaints that concerned iPods and burns or fire. It took the agency seven months to release the information to Clancy regarding burn and fire-related incidents that were blamed on a variety of iPods by iPod owners.
Clancy read about an “iPod overheating” and “causing damage to home and harm to minor son,” in 2005; a 17-year-old girl awakening “to find her iPod Nano ‘smoking and sparking,” in 2006; a man who “ sustained a minor shock and some redness to his left hand” …”sparks and a reddish/orange glow, in 2006; an iPod, also in 2006, that “caught fire aboard a ship with over 2,000 persons onboard”; an iPod Nano that began “billowing” smoke out of a girl’s bedroom in 2007 when her iPod "caught on fire" and had "somehow fallen on the chair next to the desk," causing the chair to "smolder"; a man who’s Nano “suddenly burst into flames in his pocket”; and a couple who were awakened by smoke alarms in 2008 when their son’s iPod was “smoking and melted” while their son slept, to name some.
According to SFGate, "In the end, the CPSC released more than 800 pages which reveal, for the very first time, a comprehensive look that shows, on a number of occasions, iPods have suddenly burst into flames, started to smoke, and even burned their owners," quoting KIRO-TV. The agency papers outline 15 burn- and fire-related incidents by a number of consumers from a variety of different iPod types, said the SFGate, which also pointed out that federal records indicate that Apple knew about the hazard, which is likely linked to the iPod's lithium ion batteries, citing the report.
Meanwhile, iPods continue to be sold, come critics have raised concerns about the very popular iPhone, and a recall has not yet been issued.