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Battery Burn Risks from Defective Consumer Electronics

Battery Burn Risks from Defective Consumer Electronics

A Recap Of Several Large Recalls

Consumer electronics, such as laptops and baby monitors, are everyday items most people keep in their homes and never think of as a potential safety hazard or fire risk. Unfortunately, many products containing either alkaline and lithium ion batteries have been known to pose serious dangers to consumers.

Laptop Batteries Can Overheat

Panasonic Battery And Laptop Recall

Panasonic has issued a recall of more than 43,000 battery backs in its Toughbook line of notebook computers. In late May, the Japanese manufacturer admitted knowledge of three incidents of batteries overheating and catching fire. According to a Reutersreport, two of the incidents happened overseas, however, a third incident occurred in an unidentified location.

The recall may raise concerns about the safety of lithium ion batteries and their application in the automotive industry, as Panasonic is the primary supplier of car batteries for new automaker, Tesla Motors, which plans to use lithium ion batteries in its vehicles. According to a Panasonic representative, however, the batteries subject to the recall are a different model than those used by Tesla.

Lenovo ThinkPad Battery Recall

If you own a Lenovo ThinkPad laptop, you may be eligible to receive a new battery. Chinese tech giant, Lenovo, issued a voluntary recall of specific laptop batteries, which have been known to overheat. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (USCPSC), the recall, which was first issued on March 27th, applies to over 37,000 laptops sold in North America.

The recall, which was prompted by the USCPSC, is just one of several laptop battery recalls within the last few years. In 2008, Sony recalled over 100,000 lithium ion batteries it produced for Toshiba, Dell, and HP notebooks. In 2010, the USCPSC recalled more than 41,000 Satellite and Tecra laptops due to a potential risk of lithium ion batteries overheating and causing fires.

The USCPSC received two complaints about overheating Lenovo batteries. In both cases, the battery grew hot enough to damage the laptop or objects around it. Consumers who fail to replace the affected batteries risk damaged property and personal injury, as the overheated batteries can melt plastic and start a fire. Consumers who think they may have a defective battery can visit the Lenovo websiteto view affected model numbers, which include replacement batteries that were sold as a separate purchase.

According to the USCPSC, laptop owners with defective batteries should power off their laptops, remove the damaged battery, and use the AC power supply until their new battery arrives.

Baby Monitor Rechargeable Batteries

New parents have enough to worry about; the safety of their baby monitor shouldn’t be one of them. Prominent baby product manufacturer, Summer Infant, issued a large recall of approximately 800,000 handheld color video baby monitors after receiving 22 reports of the rechargeable batteries within the units overheating. Rechargeable batteries that become hot enough can rupture and cause serious burns. The affected monitors were produced between 2010 and 2012. Consumers who purchased a defective monitor can receive a replacement unit by contacting Summer Infant.