EE hits back at claims it knew about Power Bar safety risk before launch

The model number can be found down the side of the Power Bar

Operator dismisses reports it was made aware of faults with its Power Bar range before it gave the freebie to customers

EE has slammed claims that it was warned about safety risks with its Power Bars before it launched them back in April.

The Register claims to have seen documents in which the operator was warned the charging solutions were at risk of overloading and catching fire, a claim EE strongly denies.

“We strongly refute any suggestion that safety concerns were ignored or dismissed without careful consideration,” an EE spokesperson explained. “The product was subject to an independent and rigorous testing process of which every element was reviewed by our safety and products teams. All EE Power Bars meet EC electrical safety standards.”

The spokesperson said there had only been five reported cases of faults with the batch of Power Bars, which were recalled on Wednesday as first revealed by Mobile News. In one case, the device caused serious burns to a customer’s hand when her caught fire after the Bar exploded.

In its report, The Register claims the documents raised concerns over: “variable quality in the cells used in manufacture, a risk that the Power Bar could easily be overloaded and catch fire if used with a faulty cable, lack of measures to ensure that Power Bars circulating among EE’s users and shops would remain within their safe lifespan, a risk that bars being charged en masse in shops might suffer “thermal runaway” and burn down buildings, and other dangers.”

Mobile News understands that these concerns relate to typical stress tests carried out on all devices before they are released.

These tests are aimed at identifying potential problems, but not necessarily ones that will take place.

The issues with the Power Bar has led to EE offering a £20 vouchers to spend on accessories for those who return one of the chargers with the E1-06 model number. Mobile News understands there are around 500,000 devices in the sixth batch.

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.

Accessories distributor Kondor, who supplied EE with the Power Bars is working closely with the operator as part of its investigations.