Published July 22, 2009
Apple iPods have burned users or caught fire more than a dozen times, but neither the company nor the federal government has disclosed this to the public, according to a Seattle television station.
In a report posted on its Web site Tuesday, KIRO-TV says it used the Freedom of Information Act to get more than 800 pages of Consumer Product Safety Commission documents regarding iPod-related injuries and property damage.
Within the documents were details of at least 15 separate incidents where iPods overheated, sparked, smoked, caused burns or caught fire, KIRO-TV said.
The station became interested when Jamie Balderas of Arlington, Wash., was mystified by a penny-sized burn on her chest in Nov. 2008.
"At first I thought, how in the heck did I get burned?" she told a KIRO-TV reporter. "Then I remembered that I had my iPod right there."
KIRO-TV filed an FOIA request the following month, but said the CPSC documents took seven months to arrive, delayed by Apple lawyers filing several exemptions.
Haylie Mooney of Portland, Ore., now 14, described being burned by an iPod Nano she'd gotten for Christmas in 2007, one of the incidents mentioned in the documents.
"I picked it up and it was really hot, and so my first instinct was to drop it so I didn't burn myself," she told KIRO-TV. "But I looked at my hand and it was red and it started to get swollen."
Other incidents included a teenage girl's bedside chair catching fire when an iPod overheated, and another iPod catching fire aboard a ship with thousands of people aboard.
An Apple representative had no official comment.