Report: Apple tried to silence family over exploding iPod

Company is being accused of offering a refund only if the family agreed not to disclose any information about the incident, according to a story in a U.K. newspaper.

The father of an 11-year-old girl in the U.K. said Apple tried to keep him from speaking about his daughter's iPod after it exploded last month.

Speaking to The Times in the U.K., Ken Stanborough said after he dropped the iPod Touch, it began hissing and started to get hot. As a precaution, he threw the iPod outside and "within 30 seconds there was a pop, a big puff of smoke and it went 10 (feet) in the air," he said.

Apple agreed to give Stanborough a refund, but only if he signed a confidentiality agreement, agreeing not to disclose any information about the incident. Stanborough said he found the letter "appalling" and refused to sign it.

To be fair, letters from companies in situations like this are most likely standard procedure. However, this isn't the first time Apple has been accused of trying to stop people from reporting on faulty iPods.

Reporter Amy Clancy of KIRO-TV in Seattle said it took her more than seven months to get documents from the Consumer Product Safety Commission on iPods that mysteriously burst into flames. She said she had filed a Freedom of Information Act request, but Apple lawyers filed "exemption after exemption" with the commission to stop her from getting the over 800 pages of documents.

Clancy said the documents show 15 "burn and fire-related incidents" that iPod owners blamed on the device.

Apple declined to comment for this story.

About the author

Jim Dalrymple has followed Apple and the Mac industry for the last 15 years, first as part of MacCentral and then in various positions at Macworld. Jim also writes about the professional audio market, examining the best ways to record music using a Macintosh. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. He currently runs The Loop.

 

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