EE recalls Power Bar battery packs after explosion in student's bedroom | Technology | The Guardian

EE has issued a recall notice for a batch of its free Power Bar battery packs due to overheating concerns that can cause the batteries to explode.

The mobile phone network said it had “identified a very small number of incidents” where the battery packs could “pose a fire safety risk”.

EE has distributed over 1.5m of the free Power Bars, which prove popular with users suffering from poor smartphone battery life. EE customers can use the portable batteries to recharge their smartphone and either charge the battery pack at home or swap in store for a fully charged one.

The recall could affect up to 500,000 of EE’s Power Bars, of which half have already been taken out of circulation. Six out of the seven batches of EE’s Power Bar in circulation have not been found to have the same fire risk. SMS text messages have been sent to users to notify them of the faulty devices.

In its recall notice it said: “EE has identified a very small number of incidents where Power Bars have overheated, all of which relate to batch E1-06 (written as Model: E1-06 on the side of the device), and could pose a fire safety risk,.”

The recall was triggered by investigations into the cause of a Power Bar explosion that set fire to a student’s bedroom carpet and caused burns to her hands.

The battery pack was charging at the time of its overheating. Lithium-ion batteries, like the one inside the EE Power Bar, can become dangerous if they overheat in a process called thermal runaway that leads to swelling or exploding batteries.

The chemicals within the battery are caustic and can cause burns to skin.

EE: “It’s our intention to replace these chargers once we’ve completed our investigations; we’ll be in touch once these have been concluded. We’re really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”
On the EE site: EE Power Bar Recall | Information Update | EE