Japan: iPod Nanos Pose Risk of Combustion

It's not the first time we've heard about it, and it probably won't be the last, but Apple's spectacularly successful iPod Nano v1 has, once again, set minor fires due to overheating, this time in Japan. According to Agence France-Presse, the Japanese Economy, Trade, and Industry Ministry has received two new reports of Nanos spontaneously combusting, bringing the total number of reported cases in Japan to 14. In a ministry press release (Japanese), four models were indicted as being associated with the fires: MA004J/A, MA005J/A, MA099J/A and MA107J/A. "Our ministry told Apple to improve its technological development and probe the cause of the incidents so that similar incidents do not happen again," a ministry official said.

While Apple was not available for immediate comment, sources state that the company is not ready for a recall, but will still replace defective units. Nevertheless, Apple is clearly aware of possible heat issues with its iPod line of products, especially when charging, warning on its site that "...charging your iPod, iPod nano or iPod shuffle while in certain carrying cases may generate excess heat." One user learned this fact the hard way when he woke up at 2AM, fire alarms blaring, and a small fire forming in the middle of his bedroom. Still, the amount of cases seems rather isolated, leaving the unanswered question of whether there is an actual defect, or if the fires can simply be attributed to PEBKAC.

Update: As Doug helpfully pointed out in his story, Apple seems to finally have admitted there may be an overheating problem "in very rare cases."

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