Last week, there were two separate incidents of a student’s YES Altitude 3 phone catching on fire. YTL promised to look into the reported incidents and has emailed us with the conclusion from their investigations.
YTL found that both phones had undamaged screens, concluding that the phones “did not explode”. Regarding the first case, they said the phone’s issue was “only” confined to the battery and that the phone was still functional with a battery swap, although we can’t imagine how safe that would be.
As a quick primer, a nine-year-old boy was surprised when his free phone, which he received from the Jaringan Prihatin Programme, suddenly caught on fire in the middle of his online class. His aunt Suryani, a kindergarten teacher, said the phone often overheated and that they were lucky the incident happened while they were home or else their Gombak home could have burned down.
The second incident involved a Form 5 student’s phone catching fire while charging. YTL contacted the student’s father and found out that the phone, at the time, was being charged using a third-party charger and cable, with burns at sections of the cable. YTL concluded that a power surge may have caused the incident and advices its users to only use original chargers with its devices.
However, as mentioned in the original article, the student’s sister, Fatin Najmi, explained that the student noticed that the phone’s battery had gotten bulky the day before the incident but proceeded to charge the phone as its often overheated anyway. When contacted, Fatin said that the phone was being charged using an original Vivo charger, a reputable smartphone brand. It is also worth mentioning that in the first incident in Gombak, the phone was not charging when it burst into flames.
YTL’s manufacturing partner, China Mobile, and battery manufacturer, UTime Limited, have completed audits of the YES Altitude 3’s production and quality control. They have confirmed that YES Altitude smartphones are fully in compliance with all pertinent international health and safety certifications, including CE (Conformitè Europëenne), and are safe for use. It’s a bold claim, especially given the circumstances; one phone battery combusting is an isolated incident, but repeat performance means that there could be a pattern YTL may genuinely and seriously need to investigate, and that means actions that go beyond the standard audits.
Fatin did mention that despite her sister already receiving a new crowdfunded phone, YTL insisted on making it up to her by compensating her with a YES Altitude 4. The phone is a slight upgrade from the Altitude 3, with 2GB of RAM instead of 1GB, so maybe now it can Google Classroom better.