Counterfeit batteries used in refurbished BlackBerry devices have prompted the government’s consumer protection agency to recall more than 400,000 phones, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reported today.
The counterfeit batteries can overheat, posing burn and fire hazards. So far the distributor of the counterfeit batteries has received two reports of overheating, causing burns to a consumer’s finger and property damage to a sofa and car seat.
The voluntary recall involves batteries distributed through a handset protection program run by Asurion, a Tennessee-based electronics protection and repair company.
Virtually all of the BlackBerry devices refurbished by Asurion between March 2004 and October 2009 contain the counterfeit batteries. About 470,000 devices are believed to be affected by the recall.
Consumers who received refurbished BlackBerry devices through Asurion prior to Nov. 1, 2009, should stop using the product and contact Asurion for a replacement product, the CPSC said. Asurion is contacting known consumers with the affected batteries to notify them of the recall.
Asurion did not reply to requests for comment by press time.