42,000 Chargers Sold at Target and Amazon Recalled Due to "Fire Hazard"
THE COMPANY HAS RECEIVED 10 INCIDENT REPORTS SO FAR, INCLUDING ONE THAT RESULTED IN INJURIES.
Chances are, you have a charger plugged in near your bed, or conveniently set up in the kitchen. After all, there's nothing worse than leaving the house and realizing your phone is dead. But just in case you are someone who forgets to charge your phone, there are a number of portable chargers that you can keep in your bag for emergencies. These battery packs are generally safe and effective, but one variety sold at Target and Amazon has now been recalled. Read on to find out why officials pulled the products, and what you should do if you have one.
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Recalled power banks sold for about $70 online and at stores across the country.
On March 9, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced that U.S. distributor Fantasia Trading voluntarily recalled Anker 535 Power Banks (PowerCore 20k). Per the notice, the power banks came in a variety of colors and were able to charge "multiple devices," including laptops, tablets, and phones. The Anker products came with two USB charging cables to connect your device to the charger.
The recall affects chargers with model number A1366, which you can find printed on the back of the device. You can also identify a recalled Anker product by its size: The power banks are compact, measuring about three inches wide, six inches long, and one inch deep. "Anker" is written vertically on the front.
Approximately 42,000 power banks were sold online via Anker, Amazon, and eBay, as well as in Target stores nationwide, from Oct. 2022 to Jan. 2023. The CPSC notes that about 620 were also sold in Canada. Chargers retailed for roughly $70 each.
The company received 10 incident reports related to the batteries.
The power banks contain lithium-ion batteries that can potentially overheat, the CPSC said.
"We have discovered that due to a manufacturing condition, a small number of our Anker 535 Power Banks may overheat and pose a fire safety risk," Anker's recall page reads. "The safety of our customers is Anker Innovations' highest priority, and we have issued a voluntary recall of all Anker 535 Power Bank (PowerCore 20K) A1366 devices."
According to the CPSC, Anker has received 10 incident reports of overheating, one of which resulted in "minor injuries."
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The battery packs should be thrown out, and not with your regular trash.
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If you have one of these power banks, officials ask that you stop using them immediately—and follow specific steps when throwing it away.
According to the CPSC, because lithium-ion batteries are "potentially hazardous," they must be handled with care and shouldn't be thrown away with your regular trash or recycling. As the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains, if thrown out with regular trash, lithium-ion batteries may be damaged or crushed during transport or by sorting equipment, which can create another fire hazard.
"Recalled lithium-ion batteries should be disposed of in accordance with any local and state ordinances, following the procedures established by your municipal recycling center for damaged/defective/recalled lithium batteries," the CPSC warns.
You might consider tossing your charger into a battery recycling box outside of retail or home improvement stores, but those actually aren't safe for lithium-ion battery disposal either, per the CPSC.
If you need more information, Anker's recall page lists additional resources regarding the proper disposal of lithium batteries.
You're entitled to a full refund.
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In addition to getting rid of the battery, you can also initiate a refund from Anker. To do so, submit a refund request on the company's website, and be sure to include your proof of purchase or receipt, which is required to get your money back.
According to the CPSC, Fantasia Trading is also notifying retailers about the recall and contacting known purchasers. For more information, consumers can call the company at 800-988-7973 or email [email protected]. Per the recall page, include "535 Power Bank Recall" in the subject line of your email.