On the 25th March, a Californian couple were making their way to the airport, via car. Suddenly, the battery of an e cig they were recharging, using a USB plug, started to emit a pungent smell, drip, and then explode. Now, this California couple sues over exploding e-cig for an undisclosed sum, by launching proceedings for damages and trauma against VapCigs.
In contrast to other claimed incidents, this 1 appears reasonably genuine. The Press Enterprise from Southern California reports that the explosion set the seat cushion and Jennifer Ries’s dress on fire. She tried to exit the car, whilst her husband grabbed hold of her and endeavored to steer the vehicle off the road. There are a few distinctive aspects about this situation.
Firstly, care needs to be exercised whenever a lithium ion battery is recharged. Phone batteries and laptop batteries utilize this technology, however there have been recorded cases where the batteries have overheated whilst recharging, when the owners have been distracted. It is not clear whether Ries was informed about this when she bought the electronic cigarette. Her attorney is concentrating on the fact that e cigarettes are largely unregulated, to argue that the firms are behaving irresponsibly, and that an accident was inevitable.
It may be that e cig batteries undergo the same quality controls, checks and tests that laptop and phone batteries undergo. If so, VapCigs may be able to apportion blame onto the manufacturer, or argue that the failure of the technology was not due to negligence. Whichever way, firms might have to make safe battery use a priority in future.
Secondly, the picture of Ries with her attorney in the article, suggests that they might be lobbying for a level of public attention, which would allow them to force VapCigs into agreeing to a larger settlement than they otherwise would. It is improbable that Ries is embellishing the episode, and we would not wish to detract from the distress that she experienced. Nonetheless, the article implies that it was published for a purpose. That purpose might be to frighten VapCigs into raising their settlement amount.
Undoubtedly, this is educational for both customers and firms. Firms ought to detail correct usage. They need to inform customers if recharging their batteries in a hot vehicle will cause issues (that might not be true here, however it has been true previously for some people). Customers ought to carry out more research into the products they buy.