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EU warns it will recall iPhones if labs show faulty

The European Union's consumer czar warned on Monday that iPhones would be taken off the market if national authorities find manufacturing faults lie behind mystery screen explosions.

business Updated: Sep 28, 2009 18:58 IST

The European Union's consumer czar warned on Monday that iPhones would be taken off the market if national authorities find manufacturing faults lie behind mystery screen explosions.

"I don't need (Apple)'s permission to stop goods entering the market," Meglena Kuneva told reporters in Brussels. "If goods are dangerous, then we will order a recall."

Kuneva has received complaints from Britain, France and Germany, with one involving a girl who caught fire when her phone blew up in front of her.

Problems with the gadget, which market researchers expect another 23 million people to buy this year, have also been reported by media in Belgium and the United States.

"We are checking with labs to see if there is a problem with the phone, with their batteries or if there has been misuse of the device," added Kuneva, the EU's consumer affairs commissioner.

"We need to have 100 per cent certainty from one member state that these goods are dangerous.

"(But) if I receive from the French authorities information that they are dangerous, I will act in the interests of the consumer.

"I will ask my network for a recall of the product as we did with the Italian (Senseo) coffee machines.

"There, it was proven that they burned the hands of consumers."

US technology giant Apple, which makes the iPhone and the iPod music player, assured the EU on August 14 that the exploding screen cases reported so far were "isolated incidents."

Kuneva and a commission spokesperson suggested Apple had blamed overheating lithium ion batteries in its submission.