North Texas Man Says His Laptop Exploded, Wants Answers - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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North Texas Man Says His Laptop Exploded, Wants Answers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A North Texas man says his Acer laptop exploded while charging overnight. (Published Monday, April 3, 2017)

    "I realized it was in kind of a trail, so I just followed the trail and it lead me to the laptop."

    Zoltan Katona expected to wake up to a fully charged laptop last month.

    "So I turned on the lights. I didn't expect anything like that," said Katona. 

    But what he discovered caught him completely off guard.

    "[There were] burn spots on the carpet like carbon and little pieces of copper foil. I was looking around like where, where did this come from?"

    He says it didn't take him long to identify the culprit: his son's Acer Aspire Laptop.

    "The battery had exploded. There was a big hole burned in the laptop so I unplugged it very quickly," Katona said.

    All day he says there was one thought that kept coming to mind.

    "I was glad to be alive. I thought the house could have easily burned down," said Katona.

    He purchased the device six years ago for about $400 brand new. He has other Acer products that have done him well over the years.

    "[I've] always had good luck with them," says Katona.

    But his luck may have run out, and he doesn't know how this could have happened. There weren't any storms the night before and he hasn't had problems with the laptop in the past.

    "Now, it's making me think about all my devices with batteries."

    We reached out to Acer to find out what may have gone wrong.

    Acer tells NBC 5 Responds:

    "Customer safety is our top priority, and we appreciate your putting us in contact with Mr. Zoltan. We have set up his unit for an evaluation and he is also sharing the photos with us."

    Acer voluntarily recalled about 22,000 Aspire laptops due to overheating in 2010.

    Since then, the CPSC has received six reports of the Aspire laptops overheating, exploding or catching fire. None of the reported models match Katona's exploded laptop.

    We asked Acer what kind of battery was used in his Acer Aspire Laptop. The company says:

    "We can't comment on most of your questions until we've had a chance to evaluate the unit and determine the source of the damage; however, I can confirm that we are unaware of any similar issues on this notebook line."

    It's now a waiting game for Katona, but he says he's glad he and his dog came out unscathed.

    Katona did ship the laptop to Acer last week and we expect to hear more about the company's findings.

    We want to keep you and your family safe so here are Samantha's Solutions to prevent a device from catching fire:

    • Charge your electronic device on a hard surface, not on a bed or sofa, which can trap heat and lead to a fire
    • Don't overcharge devices. Unplug them when they're not quite fully charged
    • If possible, don't charge a device while you're sleeping
    • You can also report any malfunctioning devices to the Consumer Product Safety Commission


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