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Technology Verizon is recalling 2.5 million hotspots that could overheat and cause burn or fire damage

00:55  09 april  2021
00:55  09 april  2021 Source:   theverge.com

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Verizon said Thursday it is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall 2 . 5 million hotspot devices after an investigation found the devices’ lithium-ion batteries could overheat and pose fire and burn hazards. The Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot models MHS900L, MHS900LS, and MHS900LPP were imported by Franklin Wireless Corp. and sold between April 2017 and March of this year, according to the CPSC. The model numbers are all for the same device but vary depending on how the customer purchased the device — through a consumer prepaid or postpaid plan.

This recall involves Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspots imported by Franklin Wireless Corp. The recalled Jetpacks are dark navy plastic oval devices that are about 3.5 inches wide and 2.25 inches tall. “ verizon ” is printed below the digital display window on the front of the device. Verizon has received 15 reports of devices overheating , including six reports of fire damage to bedding or flooring and two reports of minor burn injuries.

Verizon said Thursday it is working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to recall 2.5 million hotspot devices after an investigation found the devices’ lithium-ion batteries could overheat and pose fire and burn hazards.

  Verizon is recalling 2.5 million hotspots that could overheat and cause burn or fire damage © Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

The Ellipsis Jetpack mobile hotspot models MHS900L, MHS900LS, and MHS900LPP were imported by Franklin Wireless Corp. and sold between April 2017 and March of this year, according to the CPSC. The model numbers are all for the same device but vary depending on how the customer purchased the device — through a consumer prepaid or postpaid plan.

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Verizon has teams of repair crews focused on fixing the damage to antennas to optimize coverage and capacity at each of our sites. Additionally today, Verizon is working with our vendor partners to put up a tethered drone that will provide coverage from the sky in Bell City. The Network team has completed 100 site surveys to complete damage assessment, with more to do as the final few inaccessible locations become accessible. Drones are being used to help inspect cell sites and identify potential damage caused by wind or flooding.

The cause : overheating lithium-ion batteries. You don't necessarily need to stab a lithium ion battery to set it on fire . A defective battery might have tiny sharp metal particles inside that could puncture the separator all on its own. "When this happens, especially when the batteries are charged, a lot of heat is generated inside the cells and this leads to electrolyte boiling, the rupture of the cell casing, and then a significant fire ," Carnegie Mellon University materials science professor Jay Whitacre told Wired.

“The safety of our customers is our highest priority,” Verizon said in a statement. “We are taking the situation very seriously, and we are working diligently to determine the cause of the issues with the supplier and to provide replacement devices for all of our customers, free of charge.”

The CPSC bulletin indicated Verizon had received 15 reports of the devices overheating; six of the reports involved fire damage to bedding or flooring. Two incidents included minor burn injuries, the CPSC said.

graphical user interface: Recalled Ellipsis hotspot. © Image: CPSC Recalled Ellipsis hotspot.

A Verizon spokesperson said in an email to 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, and customers should not try to remove the batteries themselves.

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Amazon recalls roughly 260,000 of its portable power banks amid reports that they overheat and catch on FIRE - and one even claims the device caused chemical burns . Six kinds of power banks in Amazon's Basics lineup have now been recalled . Amazon.com Inc has recalled some of its portable chargers in the United States following reports of overheating and fire , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) said on Tuesday. The watchdog for safety and quality of consumer products in the United States said about 260,000 units of six kinds of power banks - manufactured in

The Ethiopian Airlines 737 Max crash could warrant historic punitive damages against Boeing. The safety commission says there’s an outside chance that laptops sold between September 2015 and February 2017 could overheat and potentially cause fires . These laptops have “2.2- 2 . 5 GHz processors, 256GB-1TB solid-state storage, two Thunderbolt 2 ports “Apple has received 26 reports of the laptop’s battery overheating , including five reports of minor burns and one report of smoke inhalation, as well as 17 reports of minor damage to nearby personal property,” the commission says.

Demand for hotspots increased over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic, with schools and libraries seeking the devices for students who didn’t have internet access at home so they could complete their schoolwork remotely.

Verizon has sent a software update to the affected hotspots that are powered on that should help reduce the risk of the devices overheating, as it prevents the hotspot from charging up while it’s on. The company also recommends turning off the hotspots while they’re not in use and keeping 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, Verizon said.

To request a replacement hotspot or get more information, customers can go to ellipsisjetpackrecall.expertinquiry.com or call 855-205-2627.

California utility PG&E facing criminal charges over the state's largest 2019 wildfire .
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