Overheating iPod Fire Scare Delays Tokyo Subway Train

An unidentified, malfunctioning iPod brought a Tokyo subway train to a halt for an eight minutes during this morning’s rush hour, Reuters reports. Around 8:20AM passengers complained about a burning smell, forcing the train to come to a halt while officials went searching for the source. A female passenger then came forward to show that her iPod had burst apart after overheating.

Overheating iPod Fire Scare Delays Tokyo Subway Train

The train was stopped in western Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward for eight minutes — quite a long time for Tokyo’s busy train schedule — at around 8:20 a.m. local time. “When a member of staff went to investigate inside the train, a passenger came over showing him that the iPod she was listening to had burst apart,” the spokesman of the rail line operator Tokyu Corp told Reuters. No injuries were reported.

Apple has declined to comment. The debacle may only worsen Apple’s public image in Japan, which has been marred somewhat by a series of incidents in recent years, involving first-generation Nanos overheating and in some cases producing fire or sparks. The Japanese trade ministry now claims that there have been about 60 such cases, including four that caused minor burns; the number is up from a recent tally of 34.

Apple has described the problem as rare, and attributable to a single battery supplier. At the same time, though, the company recently began a replacement program, ordered by the Japanese government. Prior to formal demands, Apple Japan is said to have been unresponsive to pressure to take market steps, such as issuing warnings or a recall. At any rate, it isn’t good news for Apple, considering the recent claims that reported iPhone 4 bursting into flames (with pics to prove)!

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