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CPSC Investigates Claims That iPods Contain Lithium-Ion Battery that Bursts Into Flames

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iPod users beware: the Consumer Product Safety Commission is investigating several more complaints from consumers that allege that their iPods, iPod Touches, and iPhones are overheating, and in some cases, bursting into flames.

The CPSC is investigating 18 claims, including:

-In 2002, a 14-year-old Michigan boy’s iPod set off the smoke alarm in the middle of the night

-In 2006, an iPod started smoking while connected to an iPod stereo in Illinois. The iPod got so hot that it burned the stereo.

-While charging, an iPod shot out flames while charging in Washington, D.C.

-An Atlanta man’s shirt was set on fire because of the iPod in his front pocket.

According to consumers, Apple doesn’t seem too concerned about the allegations. In fact, many who have contacted the company claim that Apple simply told them to send back the “defective” iPod with a return shipping charge of $34. In an email statement, an Apple spokesman argued that the incidents have affected less than .0001 percent of all iPods sold and that none of the incidents have caused serious injuries or damages. However, after much persistence, a KIRO 7 (Seattle) reporter finally got the CPSC to release some of its findings from its past investigations of Apple. In fact, this problem isn’t new: the 800-page report indicates that consumers have complained since 2005 about overheating iPods.

Past investigations reveal that the iPods contain a lithium-ion battery that overheats. This isn’t an unfamiliar problem for Apple. In fact, Apple has had issues in the past with their lithium-ion batteries overheating in laptop computers. Indeed, in 2006 some consumers complained that their laptops caught fire after overheating. In response, the CPSC recalled millions of lithium-ion batteries from Dell and Apple. In the case of the iPods, the CPSC has not issued a recall. However, it could simply be a matter of time before they are forced to do so.