A deconstructed electronic cigarette showing how it can explode.E-Cig, Pen, Mod and Vape Battery Explosion

E-Cig, Pen, Mod and Vape Battery Explosion

Electronic cigarette (E-cig) batteries and vape devices have exploded in the pockets or in the mouths of consumers, with faulty batteries causing serious or even fatal injuries and prompting lawsuits against the manufacturers and sellers. 

Vaping Danger: E-Cig, Pen, Mod, and Vape Battery Explosions

In recent years, there’s been an increase in injuries related to e-cigarette battery explosions. Explosions occur through a process known as a “thermal runaway.” This occurs when a battery overheats and the internal battery temperature increases dangerously, to the point of explosion. 

These exploding batteries can cause serious injuries to the user’s hand, face, and other parts of the body. Many consumers have filed lawsuits against the manufacturers and sellers of e-cigarettes or vape pens for this reason.

E-Cigarettes, e-cigs, vape, and vape mods are new consumer products designed to replace traditional cigarettes. The devices are battery-operated vaporizers. Using an e-cigarette or vape is commonly spoken of as “vaping.” The liquid vaporized by the product is not tobacco but contains nicotine. Non-nicotine versions are on the market. The products are frequently marketed as smoking cessation devices or as a “healthier” alternative to traditional smoking of conventional cigarettes.

If you or someone you know has sustained injuries caused by electronic cigarette battery or vape device explosions, you can pursue legal action. For a free and private consultation, you can call us at (415) 426-3000, email us at info@levinsimes.com, or start a conversation with us through the chat function on this page.

Injuries Caused by Vape Battery Explosions

Once the battery overheats, whether in the vape or e-cig device, on a charger or outside a device, it can quickly cause a chain reaction that leads to ignition, explosion or leakage of superheated liquid. If a lithium-ion battery catches fire in your pocket, it can cause serious burns to your body. If a lithium-ion battery explodes in your hand or mouth, the damage can be catastrophic or even fatal.

Common injuries caused by vape battery explosions include:

  • Burn injuries to the hand, face, or other areas of the person’s skin
  • Damage to (or loss of) digits on the hand 
  • Broken or missing teeth 
  • Jaw injuries
  • Blindness, loss of taste, smell, and other senses
  • Scarring and disfigurement injuries, including permanent changes to the face, loss of hair, and other traumas to a person’s appearance
  • Injuries to the leg or groin region (if the device has exploded while in one’s pocket)

These are only a few of the main types of injuries that an exploding vape mod battery can cause. Injuries can range from minor to very severe, life-changing, and even life-threatening. In certain cases, a wrongful death claim might be appropriate if the vape device caused the loss of life of a loved one.

Damages in an E-Cig Explosion Lawsuit

E-cig products can be extremely dangerous and are not subject to rigorous safety standards. Manufacturers, sellers, distributors, and other parties should be held responsible if a vape product causes injury to a person. 

Legal action can help the injured party recover financial losses caused by the vape injury. These include: 

  • Medical expenses, such as hospital treatments, costs of medication and surgeries, rehabilitation, and reconstructive surgery (especially for scarring and disfigurement cases)
  • Loss of wages, especially if the person has missed work in order to recover physically 
  • Loss of the ability generate future income, such as when a person loses function in their hand after a vape pen explosion, and can no longer perform the same tasks
  • Pain and suffering connected with the injuries, as well as emotional trauma that often results from scarring and disfigurement
  • Loss of companionship of a loved one, if the injuries have placed undue strain or challenges in a relationship 

A monetary damages award from a lawsuit can often help cover losses that aren’t normally covered by insurance or health care policies. In this way, legal action helps to ensure that the injured person is fully cared for and their long-term needs are met.

E-Cig Vape Construction

An e-cig or vape contains these parts:

  • Mouthpiece
  • Cartridge (tank)
  • Heating element, also called an “atomizer”
  • Microprocessor (in digital devices
  • Mechanical switch (in mechanical devices)
  • Battery
  • LED Light (for effect)

Vape mod and mechanical mod vaporizers are products sold to consumers as intentionally modifiable. They are frequently referred to as a “mech mod” or “mech mod vape.” The word “mod” is in reference to the many designs that can be modified by adding, and their history of being built from other devices modified to become a vape. These devices can be taken apart and changed, removing or replacing individual components. 

Consumers are instructed and encouraged to mix and match various components in these mod vapes, from batteries to heating elements and switches to change the behavior of their devices.  Unfortunately, these changes also alter the power consumption and draw of the device, and many combinations of parts can result in battery failure or explosion.

Note that overheating, explosions, and injuries can occur even if the user hasn’t modified or changed the device in any way. These dangers are often the result of defective e-cigarette products or components. Manufacturers and other parties should be held liable for any injuries their products cause to the general consumer public. Contact Levin Simes at (415) 426-3000 for representation. 

E-Cig Battery Explosion in the News

December 2022: Northern California: Juul Settles Over 5,000 Lawsuits for Consumers, Governments, and Tribes

October 2022: Texas: Levin Simes Wins Important Appellate Decision in LG Battery Lawsuit

January 2019: Fort Worth, TX: Man killed by exploding vape pen outside vape shop

August 2018: Denver, CO: TSA video captures luggage on fire in security line

June 2018: North Carolina: Today Show reports on North Carolina father whose vape battery explodes in his pocket, burning his leg, requiring a skin graft, and burning through the floor of his vehicle. The explosion of one battery caught the second on fire, the second battery exploded shooting shrapnel into the man’s face.

May 2018: Florida: Man killed by exploding vape battery in Florida

February 2018: Phoenix, AZ: Video with woman who jumped from truck while on fire from exploding vape

June 4, 2018: Rockford, Illinois: Woman severely injured in the face by an exploding vape lithium ion battery.

May, 2018: St. Petersburg, Florida: Man killed by projectile after explosion of vape mod.

December, 2017: Pearl City, Oahu, Hawaii: E-cig vape explodes in man’s mouth.

April 2017: Phoenix, Arizona: Woman leaps from truck as vape explodes in her lap.

April 18, 2017: Phoenix, Arizona: Puppy chews on vape pen, vape pen explodes.

January 19, 2017: Pocatello, Idaho: Vape Pen Explodes in man’s face, he suffers burns and loses 9 teeth.

January, 2017: New York, New York: Personal Vaporizer explodes in man’s pocket

December 22, 2016: Austin, Texas: E-cigarette exploded in man’s pocket setting his leg on fire.

November 17, 2016: Omaha, Nebraska: Vaporizer Explodes in Man’s Mouth.

September 11, 2016: Old Bridge, New Jersey: E-cig explodes in woman’s purse.

May 7, 2016: Albertville, AL: Teen recovering from burns caused by classmates e-cig

April 15, 2016: New York City, NY: 14-year-old boy left blinded after e-cigarette explodes

April 7, 2016: New York City, NY: E-cig explodes like a firecracker

February 24, 2016: Owensboro, KY: E-Cigarette battery explodes, burning man’s leg

February 17, 2016: Utah: Man says he suffered third-degree burns

February 10, 2016: Boulder, CO: Colorado teen severely burned in e-cig explosion

February 04, 2016: Houston, TX: E-cig battery explodes in man’s pocket

January 28, 2016: Sonoma County CA: Windsor teen badly hurt when e-cigarette explodes in his mouth

November 23, 2015: Memphis, TN: E-cigarette explosion breaks Memphis native’s neck

October 27, 2015: Naples, FL: Florida man in coma after e-cig explodes in his face

Other Non-Explosion Injuries and Medical Conditions Associated with Vapes  

Popcorn Lung

Bronchiolitis obliterans, also called “popcorn lung” is a condition describing damage to the lung tissue from diacetyl.

Many flavored vape e-juice contain diacetyl, even e-juice that claims it is diacetyl free.

Read more here: Popcorn Lung & E-Juice

Wet Lung

Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis (or “wet lung”) is a condition where inflammation of the lungs from a chemical or foreign body results in difficulty breathing, scarring of the lungs, and in this case respiratory failure. Untreated respiratory failure can be fatal. Lung scarring is permanent.

Read more here: Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis and Wet Lung

Vape and JUUL Lawyers

If you have suffered a serious vape injury or a family member has a serious vape addiction, contact the vape lawyers at Levin Simes today. We investigate cases of vaping lung injury, vaping lung infection, vape mod battery fire, seizure from vaping, stroke from vaping, heart attack caused by vaping, and addiction in minors and young adults. Contact us at (415) 426-3000, info@levinsimes.com, or through the chat function on this page.

UPDATE: US Fire Administration Report on E-Cig Explosions

In 2014, the US Fire Administration and FEMA released a report on Electronic Cigarette Fires and Explosions. You can find a copy of the report here. Initially, the US Fire Administration claimed that e-cig battery explosions were rare. However, the market in the United States for e-cigarettes has since grown rapidly, particularly the market for the more dangerous vaporizer, digital and mechanical mod devices. 

Smaller “cig-a-like” and disposable e-cigarettes, which do not provide for modifications to the battery and which generally contain much smaller batteries, are less prone to catastrophic battery failure. As the market for larger vaporizers grows, so does the frequency of catastrophic consumer injuries.

UPDATE: A new FEMA study released in July 2017 revealed reports of 195 individual e-cigarette fire and explosion incidents across the country from 2009 to 2016. Also, the number of vape injuries jumped from nearly 0 injuries in 2011 to 52 minor injuries in 2011 and 20 severe injuries in 2016. 

The study also recognizes that many similar fires are never reported to fire departments, so the numbers could be higher than indicated. Additional statistics about these fires included: 

  • 61 fire/explosion incidents occurred when the device or spare batteries were in a person’s pocket
  • 60 incidents occurred while the device was being used
  • 48 incidents happened while the batter was in the device and being charged
  • 18 incidents occurred while the device or battery was stored
  • One incident occurred while the device was being transported on a cargo aircraft

The report also states that such events occur “suddenly” and often involve a flash of light, smoke, and flames. A vigorously ejected battery and other parts of the device can fly “across the room,” resulting in combustion of other items where they land (further spreading the fire). 

Thus, e-cig battery explosions can and have occurred in a wide range of situations and places, which puts consumers at danger as they go about their normal day. 

 After this study, FEMA has now made the following statement regarding the dangers of e-cig and vape products: 

“The e-cigarette/lithium-ion battery combination presents a new and unique hazard to consumers. No other consumer product places a battery with a known explosion hazard such as this in such close proximity to the human body. It is this intimate contact between the body and the battery that is most responsible for the severity of the injuries that have been seen.”

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FDA Guidelines for Avoiding Battery Explosions

In order to help avoid battery explosion, here are guidelines from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) based on past product malfunctions:

  • Use products with safety features like vent holes, firing button locks, and battery overcharge protections
  • Keep loose batteries in a case so they don’t come into contact with metal like keys, coins, or rivets/zippers on clothing
  • Only charge your vape with the charger it came with — do not use your phone or electronic tablet as a power source
  • Don’t let your vape charge overnight or unattended
  • Replace any battery that is damaged or gets wet, and if your product does not come with replaceable batteries, contact the manufacturer for customer support 

Other guidelines include avoiding extreme temperatures for your vape, i.e. don’t leave it on a hot car dashboard or on a window sill in freezing weather. Don’t mix and match vape chargers, batteries, or cartridges as they do not adhere to a standard design and could conflict. When you do charge your vape, it’s advised to leave it on a non-flammable surface instead of something that could catch fire like a couch. Keep vapes far from flammable liquids like gasoline or propane at all times.

Additionally, there are more guidelines for flying with vape products, including only transporting them in carry-on luggage and refraining from charging or using them during the duration of your flight.

The guidelines consumers have to follow to avoid being harmed by their vape products could be considered “onerous” under the law. This means they are burdens or obligations that counterbalance or outweigh the advantages of using vapes in the first place. You deserve a fully safe product, not a hazardous device with safety guidelines you may have never received.

FDA E-Cigarette Regulation

The FDA released new rules to bring e-cigarettes under federal authority. Under the new rules, manufacturers will be on a timetable to submit their new products for FDA approval. In addition, the sale of e-cig devices to those under 18 will be prohibited and those under 26 will require photo ID to purchase e-cig nicotine or e-cig devices. The 499 pages of new regulation can be found here.

E-Cig Battery Explosion Lawyers

Levin Simes represents multiple e-cig battery explosion clients and is investigating new claims of failed devices or batteries. If you have been injured by an e-cig battery explosion, please contact us about investigating an e-cig lawsuit at info@levinsimes.com or (415) 426-3000.

More on Vape Explosion Lawsuits

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E-Cig Battery Lawsuits - We’re Here to Help

Levin Simes is accepting e-cig battery explosion lawsuits and is investigating claims of failed and faulty e-cig mechanical mod devices. If you or a loved one has been injured by an e-cig device, please contact us about investigating an e-cig lawsuit at (415) 426-3000 or at info@levinsimes.com.

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Why should you?

Reaching out to a lawyer is the first step on your path towards recovering a better quality of life. At Levin Simes, we give our undivided attention to each client, and all communications are held in the strictest of confidence. We are on hand to guide you through the process and support you at every step of the way. Contact us by filling out the form or calling us directly at (415) 993-9989.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the problem with e-cig and vape devices?

Faulty devices can explode, creating risk of serious harm to users. Temperature sensors and other small chips that are typically added to ensure an electronic product is safe and does not catch fire or explode are typically absent on many e-cig and vape devices sold today. 

Many devices are sold without a battery, leaving users to combine different batteries with the device, leaving no control from the manufacturer over how each device will work (and fail) when in the hands of consumers.

What are some popular e-cig vaporizer brands?

Popular e-cig vaporizer brands on the market today include:

  • Aspire
  • CloudCig
  • eLeaf
  • JoyeTech
  • Innokin
  • KangerTech
  • Pioneer4You
  • Sigelei
  • SMOKTech
  • Tobeco
  • USA Made Mods

These may be sold at various retail outlets, vape stores, and online. Check with a lawyer to see if you have purchased a defective vape product or if you’ve been injured.

What are some popular e-cig batteries?

Popular e-cig batteries include:

  • AW IMR
  • Efest IMR
  • EH IMR
  • Samsung ICR INR
  • Sony
  • Trustfire IMR
  • Panasonic
  • Orbtronic

These may present risks of serious harm to users. If you have questions about a vape battery or if you suffered injury from an explosion, contact a vape battery explosion lawyer.

How can an e-cigarette explosion lawyer help me?

A vape battery explosion lawyer can help with the different requirements and tasks necessary to prepare for trial. These include: 

  • Gathering evidence, such as purchase receipts, medical records, and injury reports
  • Researching the laws relevant to your vape explosion case
  • Examining the vape product(s) in question 
  • Determining which parties can be held liable
  • Arguing for the maximum amount of damages under the law

If you or a loved one were injured due to a vape explosion, contact Levin Simes at (415) 426-3000. We are at the forefront of the movement to hold vape manufacturers and companies accountable for defective products.