Skip to main content

Claims emerge that EE was previously warned about Power Bar safety issues

Following the mass recall of EE's Power Bar chargers, with some half a million of the devices pulled, it has emerged that the company was reportedly previously warned about the safety of the chargers.

If you missed this story, it centres on an incident where one of the devices exploded and injured a woman, causing her to be hospitalised with a badly burned hand, and also damaging her property.

The recall was then implemented, with affected devices drawn from one particular batch, namely E1-06 (if you have an affected unit, it will have Model:E1-06 written on the side).

But now The Register has claimed it has seen internal documents from EE which discussed safety issues regarding the charging accessory before it was brought out.

Said issues included the risk that the accessory could "easily" be overloaded and set on fire if used in conjunction with a faulty cable, and also highlighted the "variable" quality of the battery cells used in the Power Bars.

Worryingly, the documents apparently also pointed to a lack of safeguards and measures to ensure that the peripherals remained safe within their expected lifespan.

EE had previously said the issue was isolated to the aforementioned E1-06 batch, and as for other models, the company said it wasn't seeing any overheating problems and that "they all meet safety standards".

In response to The Register’s request for a comment on their report, EE responded with the following, reasserting the point about meeting safety standards: “We strongly refute any suggestion that safety concerns were ignored or dismissed without careful consideration. The product was subject to a rigorous testing process by our safety and products teams and all EE Power Bars meet EC electrical safety standards.”

The company’s Power Bars have been very popular since their launch, although this incident is bound to dampen enthusiasm among the public somewhat, despite EE’s strong protestations.

EE is now investigating the issue, and previously said of the affected Power Bars: “It's our intention to replace these chargers once we've completed our investigations; we'll be in touch once these have been concluded. We're really sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.”