It seems like 2016 all over again in terms of phones catching on fire or exploding. This time, it’s Vivo’s devices that are the culprits as a cargo allegedly carrying Vivo Y20 phones and accessories caught on fire at a Hong Kong airport over the weekend. This has led to Hong Kong Air Cargo banning Vivo devices and two air freight companies until further notice. The Chinese OEM is cooperating with the investigation and it is assumed that the lithium-ion batteries were the cause of the fire.
Android Authority reports that the fire happened at the airport’s apron. The pallets carrying the Vivo Y20 devices and accessories were in the process of being loaded onto a cargo plane headed for Thailand when they caught on fire. There were videos posted of the incident showing that it started with just one pallet and then spreading to two others. There were also photos of the aftermath of the fire showing Vivo-branded boxes destroyed.
The cause of the fire still hasn’t been released at this time but we all know by now that lithium-ion batteries in smartphones can actually cause fires if they are damaged or defective. If you remember back in 2016, there were several incidents of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phablets catching on fire until Samsung was forced to do a full recall of the devices. They eventually found out that the fires were caused by defective batteries overheating.
Vivo told Android Authority that they are aware of the incident and have seen that their products were involved. They have already set up a special team to work with the local authorities in Hong Kong to help figure out the cause. They also gave the assurance that they will update the media and the public with whatever information that comes out of this investigation. There has been no mention yet of a product recall for the Vivo Y20.
Vivo also has manufacturing places in India so this should not affect their supply. The question would be if people will not be scared to purchase Vivo smartphones.