Apple said it is not responsible for a woman’s Beats headphones exploding, instead placing the blame squarely on third-party batteries, the company announced in a statement Friday shared by the woman’s lawyers.
The incident in question happened in February: an Australian woman, who requested to remain anonymous, was taking a nap on a flight from Beijing to Melbourne when she awoke to “the sound of an explosion and a burning sensation on her face,” according to the Australian Associated Press. Reportedly, the woman’s face, hands and hair were burned, and in the wake of that event, she had sought reimbursement for the headphones as well as several pieces of ruined clothing.
Today, Apple shared its conclusion after conducting an investigation: that the AAA batteries powering the device were the cause of the explosion. The woman said she bought the headphones duty-free in 2014, and the AAA batteries at a store in Australia. “The headphones don’t work without batteries, yet nowhere on the headphones — or their packaging — did it specify which brand of batteries should be used,” she countered in a statement, adding that she was disappointed in Apple’s decision. It’s not clear what specific Beats headphones they were, but several models use AAA batteries. Additionally, it’s currently unknown what brand of batteries the woman had used.
Following the incident, Australia’s Transport Safety Bureau issued a warning about battery-powered devices — stating that they should be kept in approved stowage unless they were actively being used. Cupertino, for its part, has not had widespread issues with combusting devices like other companies have, but we still hear reports of Apple products catching fire or exploding from time to time. In many cases, this is due to problems with the lithium-ion batteries that power them.