Whoa! The makers of WakeMate have sent out a warning to users that their Android-compatable WakeMate might burst into flames. Ahhh! They’ve sent out this message today saying that the black USB charger bricks included with the product are defective. They say these chargers were sourced through a Chinese vendor and proper certification in the USA was performed – but these thangs are blowing up anyway. Check out the full letter and at least one exploding event via tweet.
NOTE that the main subject here is the USB charger included with the WakeMate package. It will burst into flames. This is the letter that was sent out to customers very recently:
Hello WakeMate Customer,
We have just been alerted to a safety issue with our product. The black USB charger bricks that have been included with the product are defective. Do not use them.
The USB chargers were sourced through a Chinese vendor. We paid to have the proper certification and safety tests performed here in the U.S. for the chargers. However, tonight we were informed by a customer of a safety incident with the black USB chargers. Therefore, effective immediately we are recalling ALL USB charger bricks and informing our customers that it is not safe to use these USB chargers to charge your WakeMate.
We will continue to look into the situation but needed to email you immediately to ensure that you stop using and unplug the included Black USB Power Bricks.
We are extremely sorry that we sent a product containing defective components. However, we also want to stress that this issue is with the chargers only, and not with the WakeMate itself. It is still safe to use the included USB cable to charge the WakeMate, and it is safe to wear the WakeMate while sleeping.
I sincerely apologize for this mishap on our part. We are doing everything we can to prevent any further incidents with the USB charger bricks.
If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact me.
Sincerely, Arun Gupta CEO, Perfect Third Inc.
There is one tweet saying that a device has actually, for real, started on fire. Beyond that, there’s a bit of extra info from the company from a Hacker News thread:
yes the batteries are safe. we believe that the chargers are spitting out a noisy electrical signal, which is causing the battery charger IC on the WakeMate to overheat, thus causing the problem. We have only seen any incidence when the unit is plugged into the black USB charger bricks we shipped with. To date we have logged over 20000 hours of sleep on our system, so we’re certain that sleeping with the Wakemate is safe, and that the batteries on the WakeMates are safe as well. This is in addition to the testing and certification we had done on the unit as well before we began shipping units.
We sent this email tonight within an hour of hearing about the first issue. One of our goals as a company is to increase people’s quality of life — starting with sleep. It was immediately apparent to us we had to tell our customers, especially if their safety was at all at risk.