Only one month into the New Year and already the U.S. has witnessed recalls of products powered by exploding lithium-ion batteries. Such mounting evidence only reinforces the need to improve the batteries’ safety.
Early in January, Boosted recalled all standard range battery packs for its second-generation Dual + electric skateboards, according to PC Magazine. The company discovered that while the skateboard is in use, water can enter the battery pack, causing it to short-circuit. Shortly after the skateboards began shipping last September, customers reported two separate incidents of smoke coming from the lithium-ion battery packs. However, it is not clear how many of the boards were equipped with the bad batteries.
Similarly, Hewlett Packard (HP) announced later in the month it was expanding the initial recall of lithium-ion batteries powering its notebook computers. Righting Injustice reported that HP recalled the first 41,000 last June and with the expansion, C|Net explains that HP will recall more than 100,000 batteries. The technology blog, citing the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), says the recall is a result of “fire and burn hazards” the batteries pose if they overheat.
Recently, Beasley Allen discussed the CPSC’s plans to review the battery industry, improve battery safety and bridge the gap between healthy market competition and upholding safety standards. Elliott Kaye, CPSC chairman, reiterated these heightened efforts in a statement last week. Kaye noted that the agency is working with Samsung to incorporate more safeguards in the design and manufacturing process. However, the changing consumer safety landscape under the new administration will likely affect this new agency charge.
The paradox of constantly evolving technology powered by unsafe batteries has placed this generation at a crossroads. Massive recalls and regular reports of devices catching fire and exploding demonstrate an urgent need to review and revise the standards for lithium-ion batteries.
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If you would like more information about lithium-ion batteries, you can contact Will Sutton, a lawyer in Toxic Torts Section. He can be reached at 800-898-2034 or by email at William.Sutton@beasleyallen.com.