iPod’s are Hot-Hotter Than You May Think

A Seattle based reporter has uncovered some disturbing news about Apple’s iPod MP3 players. The iPods may smolder, smoke, and burst into flames. The exclusive KIRO7 news investigation by reporter Amy Clancy reveals that the cause of the overheating and fires may be linked to the lithium batteries in iPod models. These iPod defects have caused injury to their owners and are documented in 800 pages of investigative materials obtained from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Initially, Apple lawyers attempted to block the release of the documents. However, Clancy prevailed in her Freedom of Information Act request. The CPSC documents reveal 15 burn and fire related incidents associated with the Ipod. Initial consumer complaints to Apple’s customer service department were dismissed as isolated incidents. While a product recall has not been issued, the CPSC has warned Apple of its legal obligation to inform the federal agency of any product defects. According to Clancy’s article on the subject, “Apple has been notified by the Consumer Product Safety Commission that it is the California company’s obligation to ‘inform the Commission of defects associated with this product which could create a substantial product hazard under 15 U.S.C 2064(a).’ The documents further reveal, if Apple ‘receives any information regarding other potential defects or hazards, it must report this information to the Office of Compliance and Field Operations immediately.’ And that the CPSC staff ‘will assess any new information concerning this product to determine if action should be taken to protect the public.’ One of the reasons the CPSC gives for not taking action now is because ‘the current generation of iPods uses a battery which has not been shown to have similar problems.’ When asked by Clancy, when this “current generation” of batteries started being used, and what type of battery it is, Apple would not comment. But earlier this year a lawsuit against Apple was filed in Cincinnati because, the lawyer claims, an iPod Touch, one of Apple’s newest edition of iPods, also powered by a lithium ion battery, exploded and caught fire while in a teenager’s pocket. The suit claims the boy suffered second-degree burns to his leg, and that the iPod was off at the time. This incident is not included in the CPSC’s file.”

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