Powerbank explodes inside car glove compartment

By THE STAR | 26 March 2016

NIBONG TEBAL: A 72-year-old retired engineer is thankful that he wasn’t in his car when the powerbank he left inside the glove compartment burst into flames.

Recalling the incident last Saturday afternoon, Tan Heng Swee said he parked his Proton Iswara at the Old Frees Association in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and went for lunch with my wife Alice Tan, 67, at a nearby restaurant.

“About an hour later, the parking attendant rushed in to inform me that smoke was billowing from my car. I quickly grabbed an extinguisher and put out the fire.

“Later, I found out the fire was caused by the powerbank.

“I believe the hot weather had triggered a small explosion. Luckily, nobody was hurt,” he said at his house in Simpang Ampat yesterday.

Tan later posted the incident on his Facebook to warn others of the danger of leaving a powerbank inside a car and it went viral.

“I advise the public not to leave any electrical gadget or powerbank inside their vehicle,” he said.

Tan said the damage to his 15-year-old car had not been ascertained but the repair is expected to take about two weeks.

Last month, the Consumers Association of Penang had highlighted that some powerbanks built with cheap batteries could easily explode or start a fire.

Its president S.M. Mohamed Idris said these types of imported powerbanks were easily available at flea markets, pasar malam and shopping malls.