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Exploding Cell Phones a Growing Problem



I got an LG VX7000, replacing a Nokia that I dropped, broke and put back together (it still worked). I don’t think this one explodes…

Sh*t. Ironically I just got a new one yesterday. I hope this model’s not an incendiary device. (AP):

Curtis Sathre said it was like a bomb going off. His 13-year-old son Michael stood stunned, ears ringing, hand gushing blood after his cell phone exploded. Safety officials have received 83 reports of cell phones exploding or catching fire in the past two years, usually because of bad batteries or chargers.

Burns to the face, neck, leg and hip are among the dozens of injury reports the Consumer Product Safety Commission has received. The agency is providing tips for cell phone users to avoid such accidents and has stepped up oversight of the wireless industry. There have been three voluntary battery recalls, and the CPSC is working with companies to create better battery standards.

…”If you’re cramming more and more power in a small space, what you’re making is a small bomb,” said Carl Hilliard, president of the California-based Wireless Consumers Alliance, which has been tracking incidents of cell phone fires and explosions.

The CPSC is trying to determine if improved venting is enough by itself to ensure safety. “We have seen temperatures as high as 600 degrees, and you can have a torch-like effect if these batteries don’t function properly,” Wolfson said.

The commission has announced three battery recalls since January, one from Verizon Wireless and two from Kyocera Wireless Corp. Kyocera’s first recall was blamed on a supplier whose standards had slipped. The other recalls were attributed to suppliers bringing counterfeits into distribution chains.

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding