Operator was not willing to “gamble with customer safety”, after taking the decision to recall up to 500,000 EE Power Bars yesterday
EE has begun sending its batch of E1-06 Power Bar chargers to a battery testing facility in Sweden after five reported incidents of overheating resulting in property damage and physical injury caused by fire.
The UK’s biggest mobile operator took the decision yesterday to recall its sixth-batch of EE Power Bar chargers (around 500,000 units) as a safety precaution after concerns first appeared last week. These include medical student Katy Emslie who posted an image on Twitter showing a severely burned hand, claiming her free Power Bar almost burned down her house after exploding in her room. Other incidents include damage to a carpet after appearing to overheat and catch fire. (See below)
EE told Mobile News it begun sending E1-06 units to battery testing specialists Intertek’s Swedish facility. An EE spokesperson said Power Bars would undergo rigorous stress testing, which sees the battery repeatedly emptied and recharged.
Units sent include those which have yet to be issued to customers as well as those that had been swapped in store, as part of EE’s Power Bar swap scheme. Numbers being tested at present are not known. Testing can take up to 10 days, although no timescale on the investigation has been made. More Bars will be sent as customer returns arrive in store. Details of the Chinese manufacturer of the Power Bars were commercially sensitive.
EE has so far dispatched close to two million of the emergency chargers valued at £20 each (to non EE customers) since the free offering begun in June. There have been no reported incidents involving units from the first five-batches.
Accessories distributor Kondor, who supplied EE with the Power Bars is working closely with the operator as part of its investigations.
A spokesperson for EE said the safety of its customers and anyone that uses its product is paramount to the company.
“We have acted fast to protect our customers,” EE told Mobile News. “We are not willing to gamble with customer safety.”
He continued: “We have taken this decision before our testing or investigation has been completed. We are not setting a time scale in how long the process will take. Safety is all we are thinking about right now and ensuring no further incidents occur.”
EE has now made contact and spoke with with all five customers that have reported problems with their chargers and were alerted of the recall ahead of the official announcements at midday yesterday. All EE Retail staff were briefed on the recall yesterday (August 5) at 11am ahead of text messages being sent to all EE customers an hour later.