European Consumer Groups Begin Investigating Reports of Cracking/Exploding iPhones

Following up on our exploding French iPhone story from a few days ago, French consumer groups are investigating reports of iPhones that explode or crack spontaneously. According to BBC News, an 80-year-old from the Paris suburbs was among eight people who said their phones’ screens were affected with consumers in the UK, Holland and Sweden have reported similar problems, prompting an earlier EU investigation.

Apple has stated that it is aware of the reports and was waiting to receive the handsets from the affected customers.

The company has been accused of trying to hush-up cases of iPhones and iPods heating up or bursting into flames in the US and the UK. Earlier this year, Ken Stanborough and his daughter, from Liverpool, accused the firm of trying to silence them with a gagging order after the child’s iPod exploded and the family sought a refund.

Although Apple reportedly offered to pay the money to Mr Stanborough, the offer included a condition of confidentiality given the situation.

It has been reported that the device’s lithium ion batteries could be the source of the problem.

In the latest case, French citizen Rolland Caufman said his iPhone screen had broken up without explanation in July, the week after he bought it.

“I took it out of my pocket and held it to my ear and saw the screen crack up like a car windscreen,” Caufman told reporters. Mr Caufman has since been issued a replacement phone.

On Tuesday, a 26-year-old security guard claimed he was hit in the eye with a glass shard when his iPhone screen cracked up. The guard has stated that he would seek a full refund and file suit for damages.

The incidents have prompted investigations by French consumer affairs groups.
“An investigation is under way. We have been alerted to the problem and we are looking into it closely,” said a spokesman from watchdog DGCCRF. The European Commission has also asked the 27 EU nations to keep it informed of any problems

“Until we have the full details, we don’t have anything further to add,” said Alan Hely, head of European Communications for Apple.

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