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Costco Power Banks Under Recall for a Fire Hazard

Ubio Labs power banks sold by CostcoThe Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced a recall of about 350,000 Ubio Labs power banks sold by Costco. The power banks, which were available at Costco from September 2018 to December 2020, can overheat and catch fire, posing a fire hazard.

The CPSC has received three reports of fires, including one on a commercial flight that resulted in smoke inhalation and a minor burn. Consumers who have purchased the recalled power banks are urged to “immediately” stop using them.

Per the CPSC,

This recall involves Ubio Labs power banks, sold in either a pack of one or a pack of two. The recalled power banks are black and have the model number PWB1071 printed on the back.  The Costco item number is printed on the package. The item number for the single pack is 1314518, and the item number for the two-pack is 1265470.

Consumers are urged to immediately stop using these recalled power banks and contact Costco for a full return and refund, as Ubio Labs is no longer in operation. The power banks were sold at Costco stores and online from March 2019 through December 2020 (for the one-pack) and from September 2018 through December 2020 (two-packs).

You can find more information from Costco on the recall here. Costco does note that consumers should not dispose of their power banks in the trash, but return for a refund:

Recalled lithium-ion batteries should be disposed of in accordance with any local and state ordinances, following the procedures established by your municipal recycling center for damaged/defective/recalled lithium batteries, because these potentially hazardous batteries must be handled differently than other batteries. Do not throw this recalled battery in the trash. Do not deposit this recalled battery in used battery recycling boxes found at various retail and home improvement stores.

If you cannot make it to a Costco warehouse to return the power bank, you can opt to have special return packaging sent to you by filling out this form. You will need your Costco membership number handy.

Defective batteries often lead to serious burn injuries

At least one person was injured with burns as a result of these defective products. Burn injuries can range from minor to severe, depending on the classification of the burn.

  • First-degree burns, also known as superficial burns, affect only the outermost layer of the skin, called the epidermis. These burns are characterized by redness, pain, and sometimes mild swelling. They are often caused by brief contact with a hot surface, such as a sunburn from prolonged sun exposure. First-degree burns usually heal within a few days without leaving permanent scars.
  • Second-degree burns are more extensive and can be further divided into two subtypes: superficial partial-thickness burns and deep partial-thickness burns. Superficial partial-thickness burns affect the upper layers of the dermis in addition to the epidermis. These burns lead to blistering, intense pain, redness, and swelling. While healing occurs within a few weeks, some scarring might result. Deep partial-thickness burns extend deeper into the dermis, causing the skin to appear waxy or discolored with blisters. Healing takes longer, and scarring is more likely.
  • Third-degree burns, also known as full-thickness burns, penetrate through the entire thickness of the skin and can extend into the underlying tissues, such as muscles and tendons. Skin affected by third-degree burns may appear charred or leathery, and nerve endings may be damaged, leading to less pain at the burn site itself. Extensive medical treatment is necessary for these burns, often involving skin grafting to promote healing and reduce scarring. Impairment and disfigurement are common outcomes of third-degree burns.
  • Fourth-degree burns are the most severe and extend beyond the skin to affect deeper tissues, such as bones and internal organs. These burns are extremely serious and life-threatening, often requiring immediate medical attention. In some cases, amputation or other surgical interventions may be necessary to manage the extensive tissue damage caused by fourth-degree burns.

It’s worth noting that burns can also be categorized based on their causes, such as thermal burns (caused by heat), chemical burns (caused by exposure to corrosive substances), electrical burns (resulting from electrical current passing through the body), and radiation burns (caused by exposure to ionizing radiation). The appropriate treatment and long-term outcomes for burn injuries depend on various factors, including the type and severity of the burn, as well as the depth of tissue damage sustained.

How a Phoenix product liability attorney can help

If you suffered a burn or other injury from a defective product like the Costco power banks, Plattner Verderame, P.C. wants to help. We have experience handling defective battery claims; we represent clients who suffered injury because of dangerous e-cigarettes/vape pens, and we know what kinds of risks lithium-ion batteries can pose.

A Phoenix product liability attorney from our firm can assess the details of your case to determine whether a viable claim exists. We will evaluate the product’s design, manufacturing process, labeling, and instructions to identify potential defects or failures that led to the injury or damage. This initial analysis helps us build a strong case by establishing a connection between the product and the harm suffered.

Once it’s determined that a legitimate claim exists, we can guide you through the legal process. We can help gather evidence, such as product specifications, manufacturing records, and medical reports, to establish the product’s defects and the link between those defects and the injuries you sustained.  So if you were injured and you have not yet returned your defective power bank to Costco, bring it with you to our meeting. If you have your receipt, bring that along too. (We know this might be a stretch given how long ago the power banks were sold, but we still have to ask.)

Our Phoenix product liability attorneys also have experience negotiating with insurance companies and legal representatives on behalf of our clients. We can engage in settlement negotiations to ensure you receive fair compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages resulting from the defective product. If a fair settlement cannot be reached, we will represent you in court, presenting the evidence and arguments needed to win the case before a judge and jury.

If you were injured by defective Costco power banks or any other defective product, talk to the Phoenix attorneys at Plattner Verderame PC today. We handle cases on a contingency fee basis, meaning if your case does not settle or end in a favorable verdict, you owe us nothing. To set up your free consultation, call or contact us today at either of our Phoenix or Tempe offices.