Apple is going through a trouble phase in Japan because of its popular product, iPod Nano. There was a series of around 34 minor accidents in the country which the Apple didn’t report. The accidents happened to the first generation of Ipod Nano. There ware no serious injuries reported because of these accidents. These accidents were reported to have happened while the device was getting charged. The first accident was brought to the attention of media on 13th July 2010. It was reported that sparks were found on the device while charging. It was stated to be a fire related incident by the Consumer product safety Unit of the Ministry. More cases were reported later of which in 4 cases there were minor burn injuries. Before this incident, an earlier case was reported almost a year ago but no further actions were taken by the ministry or the government.
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry or METI in Japan has opened up an investigation into the incidents. The ministry has asked Apple to provide more details about the over heating of its batteries leading to accidents and will be reviewing the company‘s precautionary measures to avoid these types of accidents in future. The Ministry had given an ultimatum to the company of August 4th 2010 to come out with explanation. The failure of which could lead to a huge fine of up to 300,000 yen.
Reason for Harsh Measures
There were some earlier cases of fires reported in Tokyo, Japan due to battery defect of certain Ipod Nano products. The company was asked at that to recall its product by the Ministry of Economy Trade and Industry but the company did not oblige which could be the reason for such an investigation into these minor accidents now.
It was only recently that Apple had to recall its first generation iPod in South Korea because of the government pressure in similar cases.One of the official from the ministry has commented that they had asked the company to outline the safety measures and precautionary measures taken by them for the last two years but with the recent accidents the Minsitry doubt the steps taken by the company hence decided to go ahead with the inquiry.
Response from Apple
There was a statement from the Apple stating that they have taken the ministry’s orders very seriously and will be answering all the concernes in due time. They have also stated that product safety is their primary concern for any of their product and will be taking necessary steps to ensure that with top priority .The company has also decided to post warning messages in their website regarding potentail danger of the product. They had posted a notice for battery replacement in their Japan site but the site was not found to be very user friendly. The company will be correcting this also by setting up a weblink which is easily accessible. They have also arranged to send e-mail alerts to Registered users of their product.