CPSC Warns E-cigarette Lithium-ion 18650 Cells Present a Serious Fire Risk
USA – According to a safety news report posted on mybigplunge.com, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a new safety warning concerning 18650 cells used in electronics such as vapes, e-cigarettes, flashlight lights, and toys. The CPSC warns that 18650 cells pose a significant fire risk leading to injuries, burns, property loss, and deadly home fires. The CPSC has also begun working with auction sites and e-tailers such as eBay to remove auction listings of “loose 18650 cells.”
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission warning, loose lithium-ion 18650 cells can short-circuit when the batteries contact metal objects such as loose change or keys in a pocket. Once the battery is shorted, the battery’s loose cells can overheat and create what is known as a thermal runaway. A thermal runaway is a high-heat, self-feeding fire caused by the initial lithium-ion fire. Once the battery’s fire reaches the cell’s internal materials, the contents begin to expel forcibly, causing explosions, fires, severe burns, injury, and death.
The fire explosions have been reported all over the country. In one incident, a teenager was tragically killed last year when his vape pen exploded in his face, and flying shrapnel cut one of the boy’s arteries. A Boeing 787 Dreamliner was grounded for several hours after a lithium battery caught on fire in another incident. The common issue amongst this and other similar reports is that lithium-ion battery failures caused the incidents.
According to George Kerchner, the executive director for the Rechargeable Battery Association (PRBA), stated that 18650 batteries are slightly bigger than a typical AA battery. The lithium-ion batteries have a stainless steel outer shell so the batteries can withstand outdoor power equipment durability. The 18650 batteries are designed for use in power tools and electric vehicles. These were not intended to be used in electronic devices that users can modify and put inside their mouths.
LG Chem is one of the largest manufacturers of 18650 cells, has asked e-cigarette equipment distributors two years ago to stop selling them. The company warned that “individual consumer use and handling” could cause severe burns, disfigurement, serious injury, and death. In addition, mobile phone companies, primarily Sony and Samsung, have also issued safety warnings against using the cells. The 18650 batteries are frequently used in special types of e-cigarettes called “mechanical mods,” which are vaping devices that lack internal safety circuitry.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission stated that these batteries are often misused as a common consumer battery. However, the batteries lack internal protection circuits. The 18650 cells are larger and have a higher density, most often used in heavy-duty commercial environments. Some 18650 cells are used to power Tesla’s Model S and Model X electric vehicles.
Injuries, burns, and deaths related to exploding 18650 cells have been reported on for several years now, but the incidence of fires and explosions appear to have increased due to their availability on websites such as Amazon or wholesale retailer websites.
Were you or a loved one injured by an exploding 18650 battery cell? If so, you might be able to recover monetary compensation for your injuries and losses.
CONTACT PARKER WAICHMAN LLP FOR A FREE CASE REVIEW
Parker Waichman LLP helps people who have been injured or lost loved ones due to defective lithium-ion 18650 battery cells receive full monetary compensation. Trust your case with our product injury lawsuit attorneys. For a free consultation, contact our law firm today by calling 1-800-YOUR-LAWYER (1-800-968-7529) or by using our website’s live chat.
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