In 2007 Global Tech News covered reports of an iFire — an incident of a man’s iPod literally catching fire and burning him. Was this an isolated incident? It appeared so as many reports of overheating surfaced, but no reports of fires.
That might have been thanks to Apple’s excellent legal team. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) apparently has 800 pages of documents detailing cases where iPods have been seen to smoke, catch fire and sometimes burn their owners.
The documents were revealed by KIRO 7 TV, a Seattle-based TV station, which was trying to report on an incident about an Arlington, Washington-based iPod Shuffle owner who told the station that she had suffered a burn on her chest from an overheating iPod. According to the station, its request for the CPSC documents took more than seven months to be completed due to a series of exemptions filed by Apple lawyers.
The problems especially seem to plague early models. Online there’s a multitude of reports from people claiming to be the victim of iPod explosions, fires, and overheating. Also, last month the Korea Agency for Technology and Standards in South Korea reported that it found that first generation iPod Nanos were exploding. The news prompted a recall by Apple, but only in South Korea.
According to the CPSC documents, while there have been incidents, the agency reassuringly comments that “the number of incidents is extremely small in relation to the number of products produced, making the risk of injury very low.”
Still, fearful of damage to its brand image, Apple has tried to use its legal strength to attempt to aggressively limit the availability of the documents. Meanwhile Apple’s overheating problems continue, with many reports of the new iPhone 3G S overheating coming in.
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