Apple tried to silence family over exploding iPod

According to a report by The Times, Apple attempted to silence a father and his daughter after the child's iPod exploded and the family sought a refund from the company.

Ken Stanborough said "It made a hissing noise. I could feel it getting hotter in my hand, and I thought I could see vapour". As a precaution, he threw the device out of his back door, where "within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10ft in the air". He contacted Apple and Argos, where he had bought the device for £162. After speaking to an Apple executive on the telephone, Apple sent a letter to Mr Stanborough denying liability but offering a refund if he signed a confidentiality agreement, agreeing not to disclose any information about the incident.

Part of the letter said "agree that you will keep the terms and existence of this settlement agreement completely confidential, and that any breach of confidentiality may result in Apple seeking injunctive relief, damages and legal costs against the defaulting persons or parties". Mr. Stanborough found the letter appalling and refused to signed it.

This isn't the first time this has happened; an investigation by KIRO TV found that "an alarming number of Apple brand iPod MP3 players have suddenly burst into flames and smoke, injuring people and damaging property". It took reporter Amy Clancy more than seven months to get documents concerning the issue from the Consumer Product Safety Commission because Apple's lawyers kept filing exemptions. In the end, the CPSC released more than 800 pages which reveal a number of iPods suddenly busting into flames. The documents showed 15 "burn and fire-related incidents" that iPod owners blamed on the device.

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