Remote Control Helicopters Recalled for Fire Hazard

Remote control helicopters are the latest hazardous toys to worry parents. Today, in collaboration with Soft Air USA, Inc., the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) announced a voluntary recall of its Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys-Fun2Fly Microcopter. The toy poses a fire and burn hazard and consumers should stop using the recalled Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys-Fun2Fly Microcopter immediately and return it to the retailer where it was purchased for a full refund.

About 30,000 of the Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys-Fun2Fly Microcopter are being because the internal battery can catch fire during charging, igniting the helicopter and any combustible materials nearby. The toys—Fun2Fly Microcopter—are manufactured in China and imported by Soft Air USA Inc., of Grapevine, Texas. The recall involves the remote-controlled helicopter toy with item number 91001, which is printed above the UPC label. The toy comes with a transmitter that controls and recharges the helicopter, which is constructed of foam and plastic and measures about 6 ½ inches by 2 ½ inches. The transmitter measures about 4 1/2 inches by 5 inches. The words “Fun2Fly” and “Microcopter” are printed on the packaging. The Fun2Fly Microcopter helicopter was sold at sporting goods stores and other retailers nationwide from May 2007 through December 2007 and retailed for about $30.

Playing with remote-controlled helicopters and airplanes can be great family fun; however, the CPSC is concerned about an emerging fire hazard from the lithium battery technology used with these toys. The CPSC today urged consumers today to follow manufacturer’s instructions when charging toys with these batteries.

Since November 2007, the CPSC has received 26 reports of remote-controlled helicopters igniting while being charged and one incident of a helicopter igniting during flight. These reports involve minor burns and property damage. Soft Air received six reports of its Remote-Controlled Helicopter Toys-Fun2Fly Microcopter igniting with one reported injury.

Rechargeable lithium batteries (lithium-ion or lithium polymer) are increasingly being used in toys because the technology is lighter; however, these batteries carry a lot of energy in a small package, so consumers should use caution when charging and handling them. The batteries are charged with a transmitter or a charging adapter and overcharging can cause overheating, fire, and/or an explosion. “CPSC has received dozens of reports of incidents and injuries involving remote-controlled helicopters igniting,” said Nancy Nord, CPSC Acting Chairman. “We are urging consumers to follow simple safety tips to prevent future incidents and injuries.”

• Never leave the toy unattended while charging; adults should handle battery charging.

• Charge the toy on a non-flammable surface away from flammable items.

• Turn the charger off when the toy’s battery is charged, always unplug the charger from the toy, and disconnect AC wall chargers from outlets while not in use.

• If damaged, immediately stop using the toy, unplug it, and safely move it away from flammable materials.

• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for charging the toy. Do NOT charge the toy longer than recommended.

For additional information, call Soft Air USA collect at (817) 210-4181 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Central Time Monday through Friday or e-mail the company at Bhook@softairusa.com

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