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Apple iPod suspected in bizarre Swedish car fire

Apple iPod suspected in bizarre Swedish car fire

Published: 09 Jul 2009 16:08 GMT+02:00
Updated: 09 Jul 2009 16:08 GMT+02:00

An iPod music player is at the centre of an investigation into a mysterious car fire which completely destroyed a Saab automobile in western Sweden over the Midsummer holiday weekend.

The car, a two-year-old Saab 9-3 station wagon, was parked and its engine was cold when it suddenly caught fire.

Within minutes, the entire vehicle was engulfed in flames, with the owners just having enough time to save the family dog from the roaring flames.

Following a thorough examination of the car’s remains, Saab Automobile’s fire investigators concluded that the fire was not deliberately set, caused by a technical malfunction, or by negligence.

Their investigation did find, however, that the fire started in the front seats, between which were a number of electronic devices, including two iPods, a camera, and a mobile phone.

But suspicions of what may have caused the blaze have centered on the iPod nano.

“Technicians discovered heat damage on the interior of the music player. They suspect the damage was likely caused by overheated electronics,” said Saab dealer Bengt-Erik Johansson to the Hallandsposten newspaper.

But officials from Saab aren’t willing to say that the iPod caused the violent car fire.

“There was electronic equipment in the car’s middle console. We have examined it,” said Saab spokesperson Gunilla Gustavs to TT.

“There were signs of interior heat damage in it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the fire was caused by it.”

While the iPod’s possible role in the fire remains unclear, the case is far from the first time Apple’s popular music player has been implicated in suspicious fires.

Back in 2007, a man from Atlanta reported that his iPod nano burst into flames while in his pocket.

And on June 25th of this year, the Korean Agency for Technology and Standards issued a statement urging Apple Korea to recall first generation iPod nanos after several reported cases of batteries overheating or exploding, the Dow Jones news service reports.

According to the car’s owner, the iPod is being sent to Apple for further examination and is reportedly being handled by the company’s legal department.

“It’s important to look into whether there is a risk of iPods causing fires when you consider how many there are on the market,” the owner told TT.

According to TT, it was unable to reach a representative from Apple for a comment on the matter.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

16:27 July 9, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Hmm. I own a Saab and a nano iPod. Something is telling me not to leave the iPod in the car.......
18:21 July 9, 2009 by BillyB
If an overheated ipod destroyed a Saab that easily i think i will avoid Saabs until they catch onto the wonderful world of fire resistant materials.
18:26 July 9, 2009 by Nemesis
I hope Apple purchase the owner a brand new SAAB from teh now Swedish SAAB company.
19:16 July 9, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Nice work Saab, deflecting the blame :)
22:43 July 9, 2009 by justanotherexpat
So - is the picture genuine or clever photoshop? In the greatest Private Eye tradition, I think we should be told :P
08:04 July 10, 2009 by Marley420
Better to use your own over when baking apples...
08:25 July 10, 2009 by bubbagump
This might actually be a systemic problem for apple. In the US, the new iPhone 3GS is having issues with overheating and self destructing when exposed to direct sunlight for any length of time. Apple has asked users not to leave them in their cars. Sounds like they might know about the problem, but it´s cheaper to deal with it case by case than to issue a recall. I find it weird that investigators sent the only evidence of the case to Apple to investigate. That´s like letting a thief run his own fingerprints. http://www.wired.com/gadgetlab/2009/06/overheating-iphones/
09:21 July 10, 2009 by jack sprat
If it can happen in a car, surely it could also happen in a house if left near a window in direct sunlight on an inflammable surface.

Owner could return to find that his little nano had just burned the house down.

Agree with Bubba.an independant investigation would make much more sense.
09:25 July 10, 2009 by GITM
The only flaw with that is that the inside of a house doesn't get quite as hot as the inside of a sealed tin box with a restricted volume....
11:56 July 14, 2009 by jwhenry
You donot need actual vouchers or coupons to partipate in this program. All dealers are required and government will

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