Phone batteries explode in tests

PUBLISHED : Friday, 06 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 06 July, 2007, 12:00am


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Mobile phone batteries labelled Motorola or Nokia exploded during safety tests done by the Guangdong provincial government.

Only 60 per cent of the 40 batteries tested passed, with three types labelled 'made by Motorola in China' and one claiming to have been made by 'Sanyo Energy in Beijing' exploding while charging, an official from the Industrial and Commercial Administration Bureau told Xinhua. 'Sanyo Energy in Beijing' is the battery producer for Nokia.

The tests were held in the first three months of the year, and all 40 samples were bought from markets in Guangdong cities, including Guangzhou, Shenzhen and Foshan, Guangzhou media reported.

A welder died in Gansu last month when his mobile phone battery - which was labelled Motorola - exploded.

It was believed to be the first fatality on the mainland caused by such an explosion.

Mainland media reports said that the battery was a fake. Reports of the accident have sparked widespread concern among mobile phone users.

Motorola spokesman Yang Boning said in Beijing that the company doubted that the battery samples tested by the Guangdong bureau were made by Motorola.

'All three samples the Guangdong officials tested were bought from local markets, not provided by us directly,' Mr Yang said. 'Fake batteries are rampant on the mainland.'

Guangzhou media said one of the three so-called Motorola brand batteries failed to list the name of its producer on the label, which was not something legitimate manufacturers would do.

Mr Yang said the Gansu accident was being investigated.

He said Motorola would keep in contact and co-operate with government safety agencies in Beijing. The phone that exploded has been sent to Beijing for further tests.