E- cigarettes (or e-cigs) and vape pens are relatively new products on the market designed to replaced traditional cigarettes which have surely borne the brunt of negative publicity and proven health dangers over the years. These devices are essentially vaporizers operated with a battery. “Vaping” is the term used to describe the use of an e-cigarette or vape pen. This product vaporizes a liquid which is not tobacco but contains nicotine. Some versions on the market are non-nicotine. Other than the dangerous health consequences of consuming the nicotine in these products, another issue has arisen with respect to the batteries in these vapes catching fire and exploding.

The design of e-cigarette vape devices, including mechanical mod devices can lead to fire or explosion of the batteries that power these devices. If the explosion occurs close to the body or during personal use, it can cause serious personal injury.

Components of an e- cigarette

The following parts comprise an e-cigarette or vape:

  • Battery
  • Microprocessor or mechanical switch
  • Mouthpiece
  • Heating element
  • Cartridge
  • LED light

Mod vapes and battery failure

Vape and mechanical mod vaporizers, sometimes referred to as mech mod vape or mech mod are modifiable devices. They can be disassembled and altered by replacing or removing particular components. Consumers can mix and match different components in these mod vapes, including switches, heating elements, and batteries to modify the behavior of the device. However, sometimes these changes can affect the power consumption and draw of these devices, leading to a combination of parts that result in the battery exploding or otherwise failing.

Poorly designed and constructed vapes

As with all batteries, an e-cig or mod vape battery is limited in the power it can safely draw from the device and the temperature it can withstand. Poorly designed or constructed vape devices are more prone to failure. Lithium-ion batteries which are commonly used in today’s electronic cigarettes can catch fire or explode if they are used improperly. A number of products on the market do not combine a battery with a charger, leaving aftermarket chargers and batteries to be combined together.

The majority of popular batteries that may be used in e-cigs, such as the 18650 batteries, are sold without certain safety features that are typically included with other consumer products, including temperature sensors. Many e-cigs and vapes are sold without a battery included, leaving users to use different batteries with these devices.

As a result of faulty design on the part of the e-cig manufacturers, battery usage that goes beyond the battery’s limitations can lead to catastrophic failure of the device. These failures may be due to drawing in power outside of the safe limits of a paired battery, prolonged use with no regulation to manage temperature and draw, and component changes.

If the battery overheats in an e-cigarette, vape, or charger, a chain reaction can occur that leads to leakage of liquid, ignition, or explosion. An on-fire lithium-ion battery can produce serious injury and burns to the body, particularly if it explodes in the mouth, hands or somewhere else close to the body.

At Martin & Helms, we understand the dangers of e-cigs and vapes, including the potential for fire and explosion in the batteries of these devices. If your teenager or someone you love has suffered an injury due to ignition of one of these devices, our Huntsville product liability attorneys can help. We can discuss your available options and help you pursue the compensation you deserve. To set up a free case evaluation, give us a call today at 256.203.0332 or complete our contact form. From our offices in Huntsville and Decatur, we serve clients in Athens, Madison, across the Tennessee Valley and in North Alabama.