Knockoff cell phone batteries prone to catch fire or explode, senatorwarns
If you’re in the market for a new cell phone battery and are interested in saving a few bucks by going with a counterfeit or knockoff replacement, you might want to think twice. That’s because poorly made handset batteries are prone to smoking, catching fire or even exploding according to U.S. Senator Charles Schumer.
During a recent stop in Manhattan, Schumer pointed out that more than 60 incidents have been documented with the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 2011. One such incident occurred in Texas when the battery inside a man’s phone exploded while held up to his ear, Schumer said.
The problem stems from cheaply made batteries that are manufactured in countries like China that aren’t subject to import regulations. He said China wants to make money and make it quickly and sometimes that leads to dangerous situations like this. People shouldn’t feel like they have a ticking time bomb in their pockets, Schumer noted.
The issues most often occur when individuals replace genuine batteries with knockoffs as batteries that come pre-installed in phone are typically of higher quality. It probably goes without saying but the Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends replacing cell phone batteries with those that are recommended by the handset’s manufacturer or those sold from wireless carriers.
It can sometimes be difficult to determine if a battery is legit as cheaper manufacturers often use counterfeit labels to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a genuine product. Sticking with a reputable source usually eliminates this risk, however.
By Shawn Knight