Verizon Recalls 2.5 Million Hotspots That Could Overheat and Catch Fire
Verizon is recalling about 2.5 million hotspot devices after an investigation found that the devices’ lithium-ion batteries could overheat and pose fire and burn hazards. According to a report in The Verge, The Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot models were imported by Franklin Wireless Corp. and sold between April 2017 and March this year. The model numbers are MHS900L, MHS900LS, and MHS900LPP and are for the same device, but vary depending on how the customer bought the device – through a consumer prepaid or a postpaid plan.
Details of the Recall
A bulletin posted by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said Verizon had received 15 reports of the devices overheating. Six of the reports involved fire damage to bedding or flooring and two incidents involved burn injuries. A Verizon spokesperson told The Verge that about 1.3 million of the hotspot devices are currently in use by customers. The recall is focused on the entire device, not just the batteries. So, consumers should not attempt to remove the batteries themselves.
Demand for hotspot devices surged over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic, with schools and libraries seeking the devices for students who did not have internet access at home so they could complete their work remotely. Verizon has sent a software update to the affected hotspots that are powered on, which should help reduce the risk of the devices overheating.
The update will essentially prevent the hotspot device from charging up while it’s on. Verizon is also recommending that consumers turn off the hotspots when they are not in use and keep them on flat surfaces without anything covering them. It’s also not a good idea to expose the hotspot devices to extreme temperatures for long periods, according to Verizon. To request a replacement device or for more information, call 1-855-205-2627.
The Danger of Lithium Batteries
These products are reminiscent of the issues we’ve seen with so many other products that are powered by lithium-ion batteries, which have the propensity to explode or catch fire – from e-cigarettes and hoverboards to cell phones and laptops. Our law firm is representing individuals who have sustained burn injuries due to these types of defective products.
Manufacturers have a responsibility to make products that are safe for consumers. When they fail to do so and their faulty products cause injuries, they can be held accountable for it. If you have been injured by these or other defective products, you may be able to file a product liability claim seeking compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. An experienced product defect attorney can help you better understand your legal rights and options.