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iPod Nano Sparks Fire, Investigation

Posted by Jane Akre
Wednesday, March 12, 2008 1:43 PM EST
Category: On The Road, Major Medical, Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Smoke Detectors, Lithium Battery Fires, Workplace Injuries, Defective and Dangerous Products, Property Owners Liability, Product Liability

The trade minister of Japan will launch an investigation into why a nano caught on fire. Domestically many people have reported the incidents of fire likely due to the lithium-ion battery.

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  • Injuryboard on lithium battery fires here

    IMAGE SOURCE:  Creativecommons.org, creator Lusheeta

That iPod nano might be delivering more than a pulsating beat in your music.  

Apple Japan is just the latest to begin investigating reports of the iPod nano sparking while charging.

420,000 units were sold in Japan between September 2005 and September 2006. These were the first-generation of the device which were completely redesigned two years later.

The incident was reported to the Trade Ministry this month which is launching the investigation. The likely source of the fire that will be investigated first is the lithium-ion battery. Fortunately no one was injured.

Domestically, an Atlanta man was not as lucky. He reported having his iPod nano catch fire in his pocket.  Also in his pocket was a piece of paper whose glossy surface he believes shielded him from being burned.

Douglasville man, Danny Williams says he saw flames flaring up to his chest.  He had had the unit a year and a half.  Apple promised to replace it.  

Williams’ mother called WSB-TV because the situation could have been much worse if it happened when someone was asleep or driving or even at William's job at the airport.

Apple refused to talk to WSB Television about how common this problem is.

Others contributing to betanews.com say their iPod nano batteries have melted, bulged or leaked. What’s concerning is that many users of gadgets go to sleep with an iPod in their bed and a headset on.

Typically a lithium-ion battery catches fire when metal fragments are left over from the manufacturing process. 

The batteries, which reportedly cost Apply $3 each, are made in China. There is no further identification on their source.  The lithium battery is the same type that has been recalled for catching fire in laptops.  

Sony issued a massive lithium-ion battery recall in 2006 because of overheating and in some cases fires. Dell had to recall 4.1 million batteries and Apple about 1.8 million batteries used in PowerBooks and iBook laptops had to be recalled.

Apple says you are supposed to take the nano out of its case to charge it so it doesn’t overheat. #


1 Comment

Posted by Mike Dayoub
Thursday, March 13, 2008 6:02 PM EST

The problem is manufacturers gunning for really fast recharge times. They juice the batteries too fast.

I’ve blogged tons of charger fires here on my SmokeShutoff website. LINK

I’m developing a SmokeShutoff power strip, which detects smoke and when it does it shuts off anything plugged in its receptacles. Ideal for placing above all those electrical appliances we can’t trust — like chargers.

Comments for this article are closed.

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