Recall Alert: Counterfeit BlackBerry Batteries

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Batteries found in 470,000 BlackBerry smartphones are being recalled due to concerns that the counterfeit products could catch fire and cause burns.

The recall follows two reports received by Smyrna, Tenn.-based distributor Asurion that batteries overheated, causing hand burns and damage to property including a sofa and car seat, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The recall affects batteries in refurbished phones as part of a cell phone protection claim program from March 2004 to October 2009, reports the CPSC.

The battery recall doesn’t include genuine BlackBerry branded batteries, the agency says.

The faulty counterfeit batteries “were used across virtually all models of refurbished BlackBerry devices distributed by Asurion prior to November 1, 2009,” notes the CPSC.

Consumers who have received refurbished BlackBerrys through Asurion before that date should stop using their phone immediately and contact the company for a replacement at (866) 384-9175 or online at www.001batex.com, the government agency says.

In its announcement of the recall, the CPSC reminds consumers that it’s illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

BlackBerry smartphones, made by technology company Research in Motion (Stock Quote: RIMM), make up 28% of all smartphones purchased in the U.S., while the iPhone (Stock Quote: AAPL) makes up 22% of the market.

Android mobile phones actually lead the smartphone market, comprising nearly a third of smartphones purchased nationwide, according to NPD, a market research group.

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