E-cigarettes contain a heating element that heats up and vaporizes a liquid solution. The power source for the heating element are lithium-ion batteries. Many of these batteries are made in China. There are a couple of major myths about e-cigarette battery explosions.
Myth #1 – The explosion was the consumer’s fault for carrying a loose battering in his or her pocket with other metal objects.
The allegation made by the Chinese battery manufacturers is that a loose battery in one’s pocket could come into contact with a metal object like a coin and cause the battery to explode. The problem with this theory is that a coin in contact with a battery does not create a closed circuit, which would be necessary to heat up the battery. This theory would also require the coin to be in continuous contact with the battery. Moreover, the person would probably notice that the battery in his or her pocket was heating up. The fact is that only a defective battery explodes in one’s pocket. The more likely explanation for such an explosion is there was a defect in the battery’s separator between the anode and the cathode, which allowed the two to touch. Cylindrical e-cigarette batteries are made by winding alternating layers of metallic anode and cathode material which are separated by a porous film that holds a liquid electrolyte. The electrolyte is flammable/combustible. The anode/cathode wrap is placed into a metal tube, which is sealed at the end. When these batteries explode, it is due to gas pressure or thermal runaway from within, not from external contact from a dime.
Myth #2 – The explosion was the consumer’s fault for improperly charging the battery
Many e-cigarettes have a USB port for connecting the device to a charging source. Some manufacturers provide chargers with their e-cigarettes and others provide only the USB cord. In some exploding e-cigarette cases, the Chinese battery manufacturers have tried to blame the explosion on the consumer for charging the battery too many times or for allowing the battery to become too dead before it was re-charged. Neither phenomena would cause an explosion unless the battery was defective.
The experienced products liability attorneys at Phelan Petty are actively investigating e-cigarette explosions and are preparing to file e-cigarette lawsuits in Virginia. If you or a loved one has been burned by a defective e-cigarette battery, call us today at 804-980-7100 or toll free at 866-249-3164 for a free, confidential consultation. You may also request a free consultation by clicking on our Contact form, which will be reviewed by one of our e-cigarette lawsuit attorneys. Thanks for visiting our blog.
Michael Phelan is a Virginia trial attorney who practices with a special focus on traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases, pharmaceutical and medical device claims, product liability cases, and truck accidents. Michael’s peers have consistently recognized him for his excellence as a trial lawyer, and his clients have praised him for his commitment to deep research, his outstanding communication skills, and his sincerity and dedication.