Consumer electronics company Belkin is issuing a voluntary recall of one of its portable wireless chargers, as sold in both online and physical Apple Stores, as well as its own sites. The reason, according to the company, is because they pose a risk of fire and potential electric shocks.
Although Belkin says that no injury or property damage has been reported as a result of the chargers, it's nonetheless recalling them, and issuing a full refund to anyone who bought one.
Which Charger is Being Recalled?
The troublesome charger in question is the Belkin Portable Wireless Charger + Stand Special Edition, WIZ003. These units were sold between July and October 2020, The Verge reports. Belkin blames a "manufacturing defect in the power supply unit," which can trigger the charger to overheat and, potentially, catch on fire or cause electric shock hazards. An estimated 2,280 units were sold. No other Belkin wireless charger is affected by the fault or the recall.
"If you have purchased the Belkin Portable Wireless Charger + Stand Special Edition, WIZ003, it is important that you immediately stop using it, disconnect it from any power supply, and contact us for further instructions," the company writes.
To receive a refund, customers are asked to visit a Belkin webpage, and submit photos and other details about the product they purchased. A separate page contains a list of the serial numbers of the affected products, so that customers can easily check if they bought one of the potentially faulty items.
Wireless Charging Is Tougher Than It Looks
Wireless charging is a great, convenient way to charge a device that no longer requires you to physically plug in the phone or other device you want to power up. But it seems that it's not necessarily an easy technology to get right.
Previously, Apple was forced to cancel its ambitious AirPower charger because it didn't measure up to Apple’s "high standards." This is one of the only times in Apple's history it has cancelled a product, prior to shipping, after announcing it to the world.
At the time, it was heavily rumored that the AirPower's wireless charging tech was prone to overheating. Knowing the potential problems that could arise, Apple decided to pull the plug on the project.
Belkin's Portable Wireless Charger + Stand Special Edition wasn't the same thing as AirPower in terms of what it set out to achieve. Nonetheless, this latest voluntary recall is a reminder that even the smartest of companies still haven't gotten wireless charging down to a consistent fine art.