updated 10:50 am EDT, Thu July 29, 2010
Company said to be unresponsive to concerns
Japan's industry ministry is now demanding that Apple report on how it will deal with iPod nanos overheating, says Agence France-Presse. 2005-era Nanos have caused at least 27 incidents, according to a ministry official, including six fires. "Four people burned themselves after they touched the device, which had overheated during charging," the official elaborates.
Apple's Japanese division has so far been unresponsive to government requests for action. "The ministry repeatedly asked Apple Japan to take market measures, such as giving warnings or recalling the products, but it has failed to do so," says the official. As a part of the new order, Apple must also provide information on similar incidents around the world.
A formal explanation has never emerged for the problem, but it is believed to be linked to faulty lithium-ion batteries. Leaving an older Nano charging for too long may cause a battery to become hot, and eventually spark, potentially setting fire to nearby objects. The device is virtually alone in Apple's lineup in posing such a threat; less than a handful of iPhones are known to have experienced an identical breakdown.