Modular Robotics Recalls Rechargeable Battery Packs Due to Burn Hazard
Consumers should immediately stop using the rechargeable battery packs, contact Modular Robotics for a free replacement battery pack, and then safely dispose of the defective product by following local laws for disposal of the batteries.
The Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Packs are being recalled due to the fact that they can short circuit, causing them to overheat, posing a burn hazard to consumers. About 2,400 units were sold between March 2018 and January 2020. The majority of units were sold directly from www.dexterindustries.com. They were sold individually, and also within GoPiGo and BrickPi Classroom Kits.
The Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack is a 9.6 200Ah NiMH battery pack with Max Charge Current 2A and is wrapped in black plastic. “Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack” is printed on a white label on the battery pack.
Modular Robotics has received four reports of the rechargeable battery packs smoking and overheating. No injuries have been reported.
What Should You Do? Consumers should stop using the Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Packs, contact Modular Robotics for a free replacement battery pack, and then safely dispose of the defective product by following local laws for disposal of the batteries.
Need help finding a local professional to safely dispose of your rechargeable battery? Click here to search based on your location within the US.
For additional support, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us toll-free at 877-233-6859. We will return all calls within 48 hours.
Register for Recall
Please answer every question completely and double-check your email address. We will contact you via email to collect your proof of purchase and confirm your shipping address. We will also send you updates about when we will be able to ship your free replacement battery pack (current estimates are in early June). You will have 30 days to reply to the confirmation email to still be eligible for the free replacement.
Who should register for the recall?
Anyone who has safely disposed of their Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack should register for the recall so we can keep track of how many Rechargeable Battery Packs have been safely disposed of. If you live outside the US, please still register for the recall and follow all applicable local laws for safely disposing of your battery pack. As soon as the replacement product is available, we will be in touch with you.
How can I register for the recall?
Simply fill out the form above and include as much information as you can. You will receive an email from email@example.com within three days of registering. It will request your proof of purchase and for you to confirm your shipping address. You have 30 days from the day we send that email to reply with your proof of purchase and confirmed shipping address to be eligible for the replacement Rechargeable Battery Pack.
What is accepted as Proof of Purchase so I can receive the free replacement Rechargeable Battery Pack when it becomes available?
We accept receipts, shipping confirmations, and photographs of the Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Packs that you are taking to be safely disposed of. If you do not have any of those, please contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can try to track down your order history in our system.
What product is affected by the recall?
The Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack is roughly the size of 8 AA batteries wrapped together in a black plastic wrapping. It has a white label on one side that identifies it as a Rechargeable Battery Pack. Here is an image of the Rechargeable Battery Pack:
How can I tell if my Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack is at high risk of overheating?
Look at the red and black wires where they attach to the battery pack itself. If they are visibly frayed or the red and black wrappers are broken, then your Rechargeable Battery Pack has a higher risk of overheating. Please take it to a professional battery disposal facility as soon as possible to mitigate any risk of overheating.
If your wires are not visibly frayed or do not show other signs of heavy use, your Rechargeable Battery Pack is not in the high risk category. Please still take it to a professional battery disposal facility as soon as possible. They may offer to repair it for you. We will not cover the costs associated with refurbishment, but will reimburse costs of disposal with a receipt (most companies will dispose of your Rechargeable Battery Pack for free).
Where can I take my Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack for safe disposal?
Check out this link and make sure you have selected Nickel-metal Hydride Batteries.
Google “Battery Recycling Facilities near me” and take your pick! If you have concerns about whether someone will accept your battery pack, call ahead. They are more than happy to answer all your questions (we tried calling a few places and they were all very helpful – and free!). Other good news: Battery Recycling Facilities are considered Essential Services so they are open even in regions with stay-at-home orders.
Can I get reimbursed for costs associated with safely disposing of my Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack?
Yes. If you paid a small fee for disposal of your Rechargeable Battery Pack, reply to the confirmation email with a receipt along with your proof of purchase. The service should be completely free if you are disposing of only one or two battery packs and will only be ~$5USD if you are disposing of more than that.
How is the replacement Rechargeable Battery Pack better than the product I am disposing of?
The replacement Rechargeable Battery Packs have two main safety features that the original battery packs did not have. First, they are equipped with physical strain relief in how they are wrapped. This protects the wires from fraying near where they attach to the battery cells, thereby preventing the most likely cause of an electrical short circuit. They also include a PTC fuse (Positive Thermal Coefficient) that limits the electrical current when a certain temperature is reached. This prevents the battery pack from causing fire or other damage. You may notice one small part of your replacement Rechargeable Battery Pack getting warmer than the rest of the pack – that is the PTC fuse doing its job, protecting you.
When will the replacement Rechargeable Battery Packs be shipped?
Despite an unexpected delay, Modular Robotics is making progress in redesigning and improving the Rechargeable Battery Packs that were recalled earlier this year. However, the revised product is not yet available for sale and doesn’t have an estimated release date.
Please continue to enjoy your GoPiGo and BrickPi robots with AA batteries. As with all battery-based robots, remember that battery safety is an important part of the experience. One normal risk in any use of batteries is a short-circuit. Short circuits are easy to avoid by regularly checking the wires connected to the standard battery holders that are shipped with all kits, and by being mindful of conductive materials around robots.
How can I ask additional questions that are not answered here?
You can reach out to us at email@example.com or leave a message at this 24-hour toll-free hotline: 1-877-233-6859 . We will return your call or email within two business days during our normal business hours M-F 9-5 MST.
How can I tell if my Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Pack is affected?
All Dexter Industries Rechargeable Battery Packs are affected by this recall. When we begin shipping the replacement product with new safety features, we will post a side-by-side image here for you to double-check your product.
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