Apple is investigating a claim that its iPhone 7 overheated, caught fire, and destroyed an owner’s car.
An Australian man left his iPhone 7 in his car while he was at a surfing lesson. Upon returning to his vehicle, he found his car filled with smoke and burned up in the same area where he had placed his iPhone 7. In a statement to Australia’s 7 News, the surfer, Mat Jones, said that his iPhone 7 was to blame and shared images with the news outlet, showing the molten remains of his Apple
smartphone. His pants, which he had wrapped the iPhone 7 in before heading to his lesson, were still on fire when he got to his car.
“Ash was just coming from inside the pants, which then once you wrapped open the pants, the phone was just melting inside of it,” Jones told 7 News.
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The report, which was earlier discovered by 9to5Mac, comes amid a troubling time for Apple’s rival Samsung. The company is trying to repair its brand after discontinuing the Galaxy Note 7 for a defect that prompted both the first run of devices and replacements to overheat, catch fire, and explode. Samsung is still investigating the matter, but dozens of cases were reported over the last couple of months of its smartphone overheating and exploding. Samsung has apologized and is offering customers credits on their wireless bills as it tries to reclaim all of the Galaxy Note 7s it sold.
Given that, many reports out of Australia are drawing correlations to Jones’ iPhone 7 and wondering whether Apple’s smartphone—which like the Galaxy Note 7 has a Lithium-ion battery—might have caught fire in his car. According to 7 News, Jones is sure the iPhone 7 caused the fire.
However, Jones himself has acknowledged that he wasn’t at the car when it caught fire, so it might be difficult to determine if the iPhone 7 caused the fire or fell victim to it. Moreover, if the iPhone 7 was the fire’s cause, it can be difficult to determine why it would overheat. Under certain conditions, a Lithium-ion battery can overheat and become unstable. As the iPhone was wrapped in pants inside the car, it’s possible it became too hot. And at least so far, there haven’t been widespread claims that the iPhone 7, which reached store shelves last month, is overheating and catching fire.
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In a statement to Fortune, an Apple spokesperson said that the company is “in touch” with Jones and investigating the matter. The spokesperson didn’t say when the investigation will be complete.