Recently, there have been several reports of products exploding or catching on fire. The cause, Lithium batteries. Since its introduction in 2009, there have been hundreds of reports of lithium batteries in “e-cigarettes” spontaneously exploding. According to the National Fire Protection Association, 15 separate reports of fire/explosion from e-cigarette batteries were reported in 2015 alone. Over 80% of all lithium battery malfunctions result in injuries.
This year, the problems with lithium batteries hit the headlines of all newspapers when Samsung recalled its Galaxy Note 7 due to its battery spontaneously exploding and catching fire. The danger reached such a high level that on September 8, 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) “strongly advised” that any Galaxy Note 7 be powered off during flights. A month later, the FAA “urged” passengers to not even stow the phones in checked luggage on any flights.
What is causing these explosions and fires? Samsung, the manufacturer and designer of the Galaxy Note 7 has not yet released a definitive statement on the cause. What is known is that Samsung deviated from its general practice in having the phone’s battery tested by an independent company in favor of testing the battery “in house”. This deviation of practice leads many to believe that corners were cut in order to get the product into the stream of commerce.
As for the lithium batteries in e-cigarettes, more is known. The design of cheap replaceable batteries, mostly manufactured in China, has an open top which, when exposed to a metallic object, can heat up the liquid inside the battery causing a rocket-like explosion. This is especially troublesome in light of the fact that the batteries are often stored in shirt, jacket or pant pockets near keys or coins.
David Wikstrom, shareholder of Javerbaum Wurgaft, states “Exploding batteries are not a new phenomenon; however with the proliferation of our remote world, they have now become a danger to all of us, most importantly our children.” If you have a problem with a lithium battery or would simply like more information, call the lawyers at Javerbaum Wurgaft, we are here to help.