The Consumer Product Safety Commission is Warning customers against purchasing bulk lithium-ion battery cells that can be used for vapes, flashlights, and other small devices. In particular, the CPSC issued a warning for 18650 cells, which are slightly larger than AA batteries and are typically made as part of large battery packs. However, they appeared on e-commerce websites, separated, repackaged, and sold individually. The CPSC says the use of reconditioned cells could result in “fires, explosions, serious injury and even death.”
According to the CPSC warning, the problem with refurbished 18650 cells sold online is that they may have exposed positive and negative metal terminals. When they come in contact with metal objects, such as keys or loose change in the pocket, they can short circuit and overheat. This could then cause the burning cells to vomit.