OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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Marc
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OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by Marc »

https://www.gov.uk/government/news/opss ... ke-battery
The Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) is taking enforcement action and warning consumers about a brand of e-bike battery – UPP – that has been linked to a number of fires across England. Four online marketplaces have been issued with Withdrawal Notices which require them, in their roles as distributors of the product, to stop supplying the UPP battery. OPSS has also issued a Withdrawal Notice to 20 sellers directly and has also issued a Withdrawal Notice to the China-based manufacturer.

Consumers are being advised not to use the battery and contact the seller for further redress. Batteries can also be disposed of in local household recycling centres, however consumers should check first with their local centre if they accept this type of battery.

Graham Russell, Chief Executive of OPSS said:

We consider these UPP batteries to be dangerous, and that is why we are taking this action to stop them being supplied. Consumers need to be aware of the risk of these batteries failing, and the potential fatal consequences that can occur. If anyone owns one, they should not use it and contact the seller for redress.
The US consumer safety watch dog blows the same whistle:
https://www.cpsc.gov/Newsroom/News-Rele ... -and-Death
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is issuing this public health and safety notice to warn the public about the risk of serious injury and death with Unit Pack Power (UPP) e-bike batteries. The lithium-ion batteries pose fire and burn hazards. CPSC urges consumers to immediately stop using the UPP batteries with model number “U004” or “U004-1”. The Commission has found that the public health and safety requires this notice to warn the public quickly of the hazard.

CPSC’s urgent warning comes after 13 people in the United States reported the battery overheated, including seven reports of fire and substantial property damage. The batteries reportedly were also involved in multiple fires in the United Kingdom. The batteries have not been certified by an accredited laboratory to the applicable UL safety standard to ensure protections.

The batteries are manufactured by Shenzhen Unit Pack Power Technology Co. Ltd., d/b/a Unit Pack Power or UPP, of China, which has refused to conduct an acceptable recall.

The batteries are black, triangular, and are sold as batteries to convert pedal bicycles to e-bikes. They have “U004 BATTERY” or “UPPBATTERY” printed on the side. The model number is printed on a separate label on the battery pack.

These batteries were sold under the brand-name “Unit Pack Power” or “UPP” online at AliExpress, Amazon, DHgate, eBay, Walmart, other online retailers, and at https://unitpackpower.net from 2018 through April 2024 for between $280 and $730.
Last edited by Marc on 19 Apr 2024, 2:32pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Vantage
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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I bought one of those batteries from eBay before the notice came out.
I've been arguing with the seller for going on nearly 2 months. Their latest reply was sending me a copy of the battery's fire safety certificate. No idea where to go from there really.
I noticed it getting rather warm when charging not long after I bought it but by then had chopped off the strap casing mouldings to get it to fit within the frames main triangle so can't return. Stopped using it after that warmth. It's currently sitting in the shed where it can do the least harm.
£280 down the toilet.
Bill


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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by Marc »

I've build a few electric assist systems in my cycles (from 250W to 3.5kW). My advice:

Don't buy any cheap e-bike battery from Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and the like! Ever!

If you want to buy a "reasonably priced" ebike battery from China, only go to Em3EV. They build high quality ebike batteries, from genuine brand battery cells, to high standards. Paul is an Englishman who started a family business in Hong Kong some years ago. They worked hard to earn their good name in the DIY-ebike community all over the world and offer really good customer service.
https://em3ev.com

...or, choose high quality products from Canada:
https://ebikes.ca
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axel_knutt
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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Marc wrote: 19 Apr 2024, 2:40pm Don't buy any cheap e-bike battery from Amazon, AliExpress, eBay and the like! Ever!
When I replaced the batteries in my old laptop I bought pukka Samsung ones, and got the name of a recommended retailer from Samsung. They cost me best part of £100 though, compared to the £16 cheapies off Amazon.
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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Any bother I've had has mostly been with Amazon -- I feel ( just my opinion ) that I have more buyer protection from eBay than Amazon.

Glad I went with the YosePower kit

"Our advantages: fixed high quality supplier from China(BAFANG motor),Japan(SHIMANO system) and Korea(Samsung/LG battery cell),10 years professional e-bike battery produce and sales team,total more than 5000m² warehouse in Germany,US,UK,AU for local delivery and service. So, you can get: High Quality,Factory Price,Local Service,Good Purchase Experience!"
I am here. Where are you?
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Grin's Perspective on Ebike Battery Fires, 20 Years of Experience

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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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He's good that young fella.
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Bonzo Banana
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by Bonzo Banana »

Vantage wrote: 19 Apr 2024, 11:06am I bought one of those batteries from eBay before the notice came out.
I've been arguing with the seller for going on nearly 2 months. Their latest reply was sending me a copy of the battery's fire safety certificate. No idea where to go from there really.
I noticed it getting rather warm when charging not long after I bought it but by then had chopped off the strap casing mouldings to get it to fit within the frames main triangle so can't return. Stopped using it after that warmth. It's currently sitting in the shed where it can do the least harm.
£280 down the toilet.
Maybe the cells can be stripped out and rebuilt with a better quality BMS and case. I can't see any details of what the problem is with these battery packs but the fact the cells are getting warm/hot when charging makes me think the BMS system is inadequate and dangerous or maybe the cells themselves are fake. I guess you can't even sell it as the pack wouldn't be safe to post although I guess if fully discharged there wouldn't be so many issues. It feels like with more information you might be able to do something with the battery pack.

There are cheap lithium ion cells from China and Chinese battery packs everywhere nowadays, be it power tools, ebikes, scooters, skateboards, laptops, phones, portable audio equipment etc. Yet fires are relatively rare overall. I dread to think how many lithium ion battery packs are in my house, I have quite a few laptops, ebike batteries, powerbanks etc.
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

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Way beyond my abilities :wink:
Bill


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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by the snail »

Vantage wrote: 21 Apr 2024, 4:39pm Way beyond my abilities :wink:
If the seller won't play ball, can't you go to ebay? If you have already contacted the seller then you can use the ebay dispute process?
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by Jezrant »

Bonzo Banana wrote: 21 Apr 2024, 12:29pm
Vantage wrote: 19 Apr 2024, 11:06am I bought one of those batteries from eBay before the notice came out.
I've been arguing with the seller for going on nearly 2 months. Their latest reply was sending me a copy of the battery's fire safety certificate. No idea where to go from there really.
I noticed it getting rather warm when charging not long after I bought it but by then had chopped off the strap casing mouldings to get it to fit within the frames main triangle so can't return. Stopped using it after that warmth. It's currently sitting in the shed where it can do the least harm.
£280 down the toilet.
Maybe the cells can be stripped out and rebuilt with a better quality BMS and case. I can't see any details of what the problem is with these battery packs but the fact the cells are getting warm/hot when charging makes me think the BMS system is inadequate and dangerous or maybe the cells themselves are fake. I guess you can't even sell it as the pack wouldn't be safe to post although I guess if fully discharged there wouldn't be so many issues. It feels like with more information you might be able to do something with the battery pack.

There are cheap lithium ion cells from China and Chinese battery packs everywhere nowadays, be it power tools, ebikes, scooters, skateboards, laptops, phones, portable audio equipment etc. Yet fires are relatively rare overall. I dread to think how many lithium ion battery packs are in my house, I have quite a few laptops, ebike batteries, powerbanks etc.
I'd follow the advice of that young fella in the YouTube video above. He knows a thing or two about lithium cell batteries. There are some simple takeaways.
1. DIY ebike batteries is not a great idea. Don't mess around with cheap Chinese batteries unless you know what you're doing.
2. He's never come across a single instance of a fire caused by a Panasonic battery in the past twenty years. He also rates Samsung, Sony and LG lithium batteries.
3. Many people may be happy to have a house full of cheap Chinese batteries. Ignorance is bliss. It's also misleading to imply cheap Chinese ebike batteries are as safe as laptop batteries and powerbanks.
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Re: OPSS takes enforcement action over dangerous e-bike battery

Post by Marc »

Bonzo Banana wrote: 21 Apr 2024, 12:29pm Maybe the cells can be stripped out and rebuilt with a better quality BMS and case.
The main problem are not the BMS or the battery case. The problem are cheap lithium cells from dubious sources.
Bonzo Banana wrote: 21 Apr 2024, 12:29pmI can't see any details of what the problem is with these battery packs but the fact the cells are getting warm/hot when charging makes me think the BMS system is inadequate and dangerous or maybe the cells themselves are fake. I guess you can't even sell it as the pack wouldn't be safe to post although I guess if fully discharged there wouldn't be so many issues. It feels like with more information you might be able to do something with the battery pack.
No, not the BMS is at fault. Its the battery cells.

Remenber the various lithium battery recalls from various phone, laptop, camera, etc, manufacturers till about a decade ago? One of the major mobil phone manufacturers had to recall and scrap the entire production of one particular smart phone model. Boeing had the 787 Dreamliner grounded for several month due to faulty lithium batteries, ect. (fun fact: Airbus still uses Nickel-Cadmium batteries in the A320 and A380. Thats stone age battery technic, but they don't take any risks... ;))

The big battery cell manufacturers (Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Sony) learned the hard way how to produce safe lithium batteries and have their production processes tweaked accordingly. Hence, lithium battery fires, or battery recalls, are relatively seldom these days.

Other manufacturers from China don't have the manufacturing expertise, or the will, or they simply don't care is a house on some other continent burns down. Unit Pack Power seems to be one of the latter companies.
Bonzo Banana wrote: 21 Apr 2024, 12:29pmThere are cheap lithium ion cells from China and Chinese battery packs everywhere nowadays, be it power tools, ebikes, scooters, skateboards, laptops, phones, portable audio equipment etc. Yet fires are relatively rare overall. I dread to think how many lithium ion battery packs are in my house, I have quite a few laptops, ebike batteries, powerbanks etc.
If you have genuine lithium cells from the big four manufacturers in your various batteries or devices, the risk ist minimal.

I've build various ebike batteries myself and teared various of my devices apart, to check the battery models used in these devices, to make sure genuine battery cells are used.
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