Collaboration in Civic Spheres

Mukilteo company recalls 16,000 Chinese-made flashlight batteries

by Matt Rosenberg August 3rd, 2011

SUMMARY: Mukilteo-based high-grade flashlight maker NexTorch and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission today announced the recall of about 16,000 Chinese-made NexTorch NT123A lithium batteries for flashlights, which can rupture and catch fire, posing a threat of burns to consumers’ bodies, clothing and property. Consumers are urged to stop using the batteries immediately and contact the company for a refund.

BACKGROUND: NexTorch is a company based just north of Seattle in Mukilteo, Wash., which manufactures high-performance flashlights, for use by law enforcement personnel and others. The company proudly highlights the 1.2 million flashlights it has manufactured for the Chinese Ministry of Public Security. NexTorch also sells flashlight accessories, including batteries, some of them manufactured in China.

KEY LINK: “NexTorch Recalls Flashlight Batteries Due To Fire Hazard,” Consumer Product Safety Commission, August 3, 2011

KEY FINDINGS:

  • The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Mukilteo, Wash.-based NexTorch, a flashlight manufacturer and battery importer, today announced the recall of about 16,000 NexTorch NT123A Chinese-made batteries used in flashlights.
  • The recalled batteries pose a fire and burn hazard because they can become overheated and rupture. There’s been one report of the NexTorch NT123A battery rupturing and catching fire. The incident caused burns to an individual’s body, clothes and vehicle.
  • The lithium batteries cost about $2. They are sold at firearms dealers, law enforcement supply stores and online, including at amazon.com and NexTorch’s web site.
  • Consumers should stop using the batteries immediately and for a free replacement, contact NexTorch toll-free at 877-867-2415 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Standard Time. Consumers can also e-mail the company at usa@nextorch.com.

EDITOR’S NOTE: As of 2:23 p.m. the day of the recall, NexTorch’s web site still displayed the recalled batteries as available for purchase. (Screen capture, 2:23 p.m.).

Public Data Ferret’s Consumer archive

Recalled NexTorch NT123A battery/U.S. Consumer product Safety Commission


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3 Responses to “Mukilteo company recalls 16,000 Chinese-made flashlight batteries”

  1. R. Clark says:

    Hi. According to the Nextorch Web site, the label on the battery you show (the one currently for sale) is a bit different from the label on the model that caught on fire. The new label boasts that the battery has a PTC – a small thermal protection device – within the battery shell.

    That might or might not be a physical difference from the battery that caught on fire. Maybe only the label copy has changed and a PTC was in the earlier cells, too. (Personally I think that if the factory has crappy QC on the batteries, they’re likely to have crappy QC on the PTCs, too.)

    But it might be worth finding out whether the batteries that caught fire had a (faulty) PTC or whether they did not have a PTC at all.

  2. Andrew says:

    Well, it’s Chinese… So no surprise! Why can’t they buy batteries that are USA made? That’s why I buy Maglites – they are made in the USA by American workers!

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