On April 13, 2018, the FDA announced a recall of all Vuse Vibe power units—a total of about 2.6 million items—because of malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries that may overheat and present a fire hazard. Consumers are advised to stop using the units immediately and to avoid charging them.
These power units are used with Vuse Vibe e-cigarettes. The recall at present does not affect other Vuse battery components, including the Vuse Solo and Vuse Ciro.
Company Recalls E-Cigarette Power Units for Potential Overheating Problems
The Vuse Vibe power units are manufactured by R.J. Reynolds Vapor Company, a subsidiary of Reynolds American Inc. (RAI), which itself is a subsidiary of British American Tobacco, P.L.C. The company launched its new Vuse e-cigarette back in 2013, calling it a “game-changing product in the e-cigarette category.”
The Vuse is powered by smart technology designed to monitor and regulate power, heat, and cartridge performance. The product typically includes flavor cartridges, a rechargeable power unit, and a USB charger and/or AC wall adapter, as well as a carrying case.
R.J. Reynolds initiated the nationwide safety recall after receiving 10 consumer complaints about malfunctioning batteries. So far, no injuries have been reported.
The company plans to figure out why the power units are overheating, and to fix the problem so they can return the units to the market.
At the time of the recall, the issue seemed to be confined to only some of the Vuse Vibe products sold, and to involve a battery manufactured in 2016 by a contract supplier. The company decided to recall all potentially affected power units
“because the overheating batteries could cause property damage and may pose a risk of injury.”
For now, they’re advising consumers to stop using the product and refrain from charging the unit. Consumers should not return the products to retailers, but rather, call the company at 1-800-369-8200 for additional details. R.J. Reynolds has stated that it will send a postage-paid mailer for the return of the product and will issue a free replacement or refund.
Over 100 E-Cigarette Explosions in the U.S. Between 2009-2016
This recall was initiated before there were any reported injuries, but that hasn’t been the case with other e-cigarette products. Consumers have reported having their e-cigarettes overheat and explode, even while carrying them in their pockets, or while using them. These types of explosions can result in serious injuries and disfigurements.
According to CNN, between 2009 and 2016, the FDA identified 134 incidences of e-cigarette batteries overheating, catching on fire or exploding. In those incidents, more than 50 people were injured. At least 67 of the incidents also involved property damage beyond the product itself.
Exclusively focused on representing plaintiffs, especially in mass tort litigation, Eric Chaffin prides himself on providing unsurpassed professional legal services in pursuit of the specific goals of his clients and their families. Both his work and his cases have been featured in the national press, including on ABC’s Good Morning America.