The story takes place in the US, more precisely in South Carolina. The e-cig battery 18650 of a vaper exploded due to a short circuit. He had placed his battery loosely in his pocket with no protection. This event can seem familiar because the rare vaping accidents are most of the time linked to explosions that take place when an unprotected battery is carried in a pocket and touches metal objects, which creates an electric arc.
The young man had severe burns on his leg, and needed skin grafts and several surgeries. He then decided to sue Sony, the battery manufacturer.
Indeed, according to Chris Moore, the injured young man’s lawyer, the Sony VTC5 that exploded should have been equipped with a protection circuit. The manufacturer answered in defense that they were not selling directly their batteries to vapers. Batteries are sold in bulk and resold to other persons. Which means they should not be held liable for the accident. Moore then countered by saying that it is Sony’s responsiblity to make sure that final customers using their batteries are safe. He also added he already had a dozen similar cases in his state.
The lawsuit is not over, but we can already draw some practical lessons
You cannot fool around with batteries. The golden rule? Never ever carry batteries without any protection. You can use a small box, a sealed plastic bag, or any other protection that will enable you to vape safely. Modern electronic boxes are equipped with protections, and these stories of exploding batteries might soon be over.
And if you are vaping on a mechanical unprotected mod, you must already be familiar with all of this.
Let’s finish by two additional pieces of advice.
Always purchase high-quality batteries from a known reseller (there are many counterfeits).
Never exceed the recommended current limit. It is usually indicated on the battery, “35A” for instance.
Safe vaping to all of you!
Jeremie is a journalist who has been writing about e-cigarettes for five years. Always on the lookout for new trends, he has already tested hundreds of different products.