0003-03-25 07:35:54

Over the past three months, a Shanghai government consumer watchdog has received eight reports of Apple iPhones self-igniting, data released Thursday shows.

The Shanghai Consumer Council has fielded some 2,700 iPhone-related complaints since the start of 2016. Its report includes details from some of the cases, including one in which a consumer surnamed Zhang purchased an iPhone 6 in November 2014 that started emitting smoke and spontaneously caught fire last September.

Apple could not immediately be reached for comment by Sixth Tone.

Apple competitor Samsung has faced months of backlash since its Galaxy Note 7 phones began self-combusting. In September, China’s quality watchdog asked the company to expand its worldwide recall to include China.

The Shanghai Consumer Council report also listed over 1,000 complaints from Apple users who have had their accounts stolen and more than 860 complaints of iPhones shutting down by themselves even though they had plenty of battery power left.

Last month, the state-funded China Consumers Association released an open letter requesting a response from Apple regarding the large number of complaints it had received from Chinese iPhone users about phones shutting down unexpectedly. 

A few days later, Apple confirmed that “a very small number of iPhone 6s devices” produced in September or October 2015 may spontaneously turn off, which it said is not a “safety problem.” Apple has announced that it will replace the batteries of affected phones for free.

However, the Shanghai Consumer Council said that other iPhone models and iPhone 6s produced outside of the time period specified by Apple are exhibiting abnormal shutdown problems. The China Consumers Association sent a second open letter to Apple on Wednesday asserting that the company should do more to resolve the issue. Apple, it said, “should improve its battery replacement efficiency.”

On Friday, Apple published a statement on its Chinese website saying that “a small number” of iPhone 6s devices were found to contain a faulty component that led these phones’ batteries to “degrade faster than a normal battery and cause unexpected shutdowns to occur.” The statement added that iPhones are designed to turn off automatically under conditions like extremely cold temperatures and that “no new factors have been identified” that may cause unexpected shutdown.

This article has been updated to include new information.

(Header image: Customers try out iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus devices on display at an Apple store during a product launch event at the IAPM shopping mall in Shanghai, Sept. 25, 2015. Qilai Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images/VCG)