I get the feeling today is going to be a bad day for Apple's PR machine:
An exclusive KIRO 7 Investigation reveals an alarming number of Apple brand iPod MP3 players have suddenly burst into flames and smoke, injuring people and damaging property.
But it gets worse:
It took more than 7-months for KIRO 7 Consumer Investigator Amy Clancy to get her hands on documents concerning Apple’s iPods from the Consumer Product Safety Commission because Apple’s lawyers filed exemption after exemption. In the end, the CPSC released more than 800 pages which reveal, for the very first time, a comprehensive look that shows, on a number of occasions, iPods have suddenly burst into flames, started to smoke, and even burned their owners. [emphasis added]
Exploding iPod stories aren't new, and the fact that there are so few reports given the millions of iPods sold shows that this is a rare occurrence. However, the news that Apple has tried to cover up the matter is both new and serious. Companies are usually quick to acknowledge problems and it's rare for a company to try to bury safety-related reports because cover-ups are usually far more damaging than admitting to the faults in the first place. The fact that Apple puts its own image ahead of the safety of users, no matter how small the risk, is disturbing. It's also worrying to see the work of the CPSC being hampered by corporate lawyers.
On a lighter note, this is one feature Microsoft should avoid adding to the Zune!