Questions Raised Over Exploding Cell Phone

By Arezow Doost, CBS 11 News & Austin York, NewsRadio 1080 KRLD

CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – Just home from the hospital, Aron Embry describes what happened to him outside his home Thursday morning, “It basically exploded it caused some damage.”

Embry, 30, from Cedar Hill is talking about his new cell phone. He says he was calling his father on the new Motorola Droid 2 phone when he heard a loud pop.

“I didn’t feel any pain initially,” says Embry “I put the phone down and felt something dripping and I realized it was blood.”

superstar 009 Questions Raised Over Exploding Cell Phone

But Embry didn’t head to the hospital right away; instead he went to Bray Elementary School in Cedar Hill where his wife works.

“He drove himself to my school so I could take pictures,” says Kara Embry.

Embry explains that he didn’t think it was that big of a deal, but his wife thought it was. After seeing his injuries she asked someone to call 911.

“I never in my wildest dreams thought of something like this happening,” says Kara.

KRLD’s Austin York Talks With Embry

Motorola says they are not aware of anything like it happening either. The company released a written statement.

Motorola’s priority is, and always has been the safety of our customers,and all Motorola products are designed, manufactured and tested to meet or exceed international and local standards for consumer safety. While we haven’t had the opportunity to examine the device, it appears to have a broken display. We have no reason to believe the phone “exploded” as it is still operational and intact. We believe this is an isolated incident and are not aware of any similar issues. We have contacted the consumer and will investigate this thoroughly.

“We will reach out to the consumer and investigate this thoroughly,” says Motorola Spokesperson Jennifer Weyrauch-Erickson.

Kara has the same phone as her husband, and now refuses to use it. They both upgraded and got the phones earlier in the week.

“I’m very worried about using the phone,” says Kara, looking at the phone.

Her husband did have to have some stitches, but says he has no hearing loss at this point. “I’m just fortunate to be standing here,” says Aron.

Embry says doctors told him he had no internal injuries to his ear.

He doesn’t have health insurance and now worries about his medical expenses, which he’s already been told have reached about $4,000.

Cell phone repair experts are raising doubts about Embry’s story. They say cell phones don’t just pop or shatter.

Vihn Le owns a cell phone repair shop in North Dallas.   “Doesn’t make any sense to me.” he said.  Without inspecting the phone himself, Le says it looks like it was dropped.  Embry says it didn’t.

Le says in all of his years of experience, he’s never seen or heard anything like this.  “For all the components inside the phone, there’s not enough voltage inside the phone to cause it blow up.

But Embry insists, “Evidently, it is possible. It happened to me.”

Embry says the phone never stopped working, and is still receiving emails.   But he says he’s “definitely not going to use it in this state.”

Embry says he’s hiring an attorney and may take further action.

  • Eric Baker

    Though I laughed the first time I heard this, I dug around for a teardown of the device and from what I see, his story is a total fabrication. From my own experience (I own a Droid and Droid2), and the nifty teardown in the link below, there is nothing in the section of the phone that has the capability of “exploding”.

    • TexMom

      Could it be possible that the phone got hot enough for just the glass to explode.

      I know a few people who own droid phones and they have all asked me to feel how hot they get at one time or another. And this that they all asked me to do this without any of them ever having met each other. I always wondered about these phones ever since the first person who asked me to feel how hot it got told me it gets like that all the time.

      Just makes me wonder if the phones glass ever had the slightest damage to it and the phone got suddenly to hot if it wouldn’t shatter the glass or something along those lines.

      Kind of like putting the wrong plate in the microwave or oven when it is not microwaveable or oven proof.

      Just saying.

      • texmom

        I meant to say “hot enough for the glass to shatter” but not explode. Sorry about that.

    • sister2

      Could ti actually be the battery that exploded? I know there have been phone batteries that have exploded. Also, haven’t there been counterfeit batteries that were sold to unsuspecting customers?

  • Ken

    Thanks for your expert opinion and thorugh experience!!! /end sarcasm

    Who knows if it’s true, but it’s entirely possible. L-ion bateries can explode just like any standard alkaline. It’s just extremely rare.

    • Kaysa Lacy

      Ya…if the battery exploded, it would be from the back…not the earpiece.

      • sister2

        Couldn’t the force of an exploding battery send a part of the phone into his ear?

  • Tommy

    I believe he hit his head on his car door. Also, IF it did explode, why is the glass still on the phone?

  • Ruth

    I totally agree. Scam is the word for it. His wife works for the school district and he has no insurance? The phone is in tack and the screen as mentioned is not showing pieces missing, and still works by his own admission. If the battery exploded the phone wouldn’t work. I have droid phones too and this just reaks scam all over it. Hope he finds a good lawyer since he may be the one being sued for false reporting. and hey, he drove to the school to see his wife before seaking medical attention-come on now people!

  • Joseph H

    SCAM! The battery did not explode or the phone would not work. Put this guy in jail for filing a false report!

  • John

    Anything electronic or on a circuit board can overheat or go ‘zap!’ Appears to me that it is possible that something associated with the earpiece electronics could have done this. From the pics of his phone, the glass is cracked around the earpiece and there is a piece of glass missing from the hole that you can see just under the earpiece. Also, the phone would probably still work since the battery didn’t explode, but I bet that earpiece doesn’t work!

  • John

    ….and holding something right up to your ear like that would make it sound like an explosion for sure, and the easiest escape for any pressure created is obviously out the earpiece hole. Ouch!

  • Janie Nelson Smith

    I believe it.. I have a droid 2 and It always seems to get hot.. I didnt think much of it till now. I am glad that he shared his story I dont know about the whole suing part. Accidents happen with any kind of device.

    • Chris

      Are you really worried that your phone will explode now?

  • Coretta Jackson

    That is a powerful phone…

  • kodiak

    Sounds like a scam. But the CPSC will investigate. The parts of the story which appear fishy are: A) he drove himself to his wife’s school for pictures, and B) he kept holding the phone against his ear long enough to get a good deal of blood on the phone. When something explodes in my hand, I tend to instantly get it away from sensitive areas. Unless he hit an artery, how did he bleed profusely enough to get that much blood on the phone?

  • Chris

    The damage to the phone looks as though it was dropped or hit with something near the earpiece. If it DID explode it wouldn’t just crack the face of the phone near the earpiece. As soon as this story came the news I was waiting for the line that he was looking for a lawyer….and then they said it. If something exploded in my ear or I was injured I wouldn’t drive to my wife’s job to have her take pictures of it. Doesn’t the droid have a camera on it? Here’s a tip: If you damage your phone then pay for a replacement, don’t make up some story to cover up what you did.

  • YouKnowHeIsLying

    Yea its funny he didnt take a minute to call 911 but he took his time to drive to his wife to take pictures….. Who would really think “oh let me get pictures 1st…” And if something anything happens to your ear it hurts. Especially if it exploded. He said it never hurt. A real person would get scared and call for help trying to figure out what happened. He didn’t seem to shock either. I still would be shock to know my phone just exploded. I would also be asking questions, not just stand there and say “uhhh yea it exploded, uhhhh you see my ear, yea uhhhh…” (in a slow voice) i bet in a few he will be back on the news saying he can’t hear now..

  • YouKnowHeIsLying

    oh and one more thing it looks like he rubbed the blood all over his neck. If you were outside talking on the phone (that means your standing) how did the blood get to the other side? And if you tilted your head to your right why would you want your blood to go back into your ear? Are you that dumb? I’m just asking.

  • BDK

    Don’t believe the story. If the battery didn’t explode then there’s nothing else in the phone that would. And he drives to his wives work instead of the hospital. If he did something that dumb then he probably did something dumb with the phone.

  • Amy Thompson

    Um, most people would have thought to go to the hospital immediately. Why on earth would you go FOR PICTURES first? I believe it probably did happen; but when it did, instead of considering his injuries and potential hearing loss, he instantly thought LAWSUIT! Accidents happen. Motorola did not intentionally cause this phone to explode. There was no negligence on their part. PICTURES FIRST? Are you serious? Bad call. Bad call. Shows where your priorities lie. People are so quick to sue these days and there is no need for it. You should be thankful that you have no hearing loss or major damage and let it go at that. As for the medical bills? Well, I don’t have insurance either, but I still don’t expect other people to pay. Motorola was not negligent. If they were, there’d be thousands of lawsuits by now. It happened, it’s unfortunate, I’m sorry. Lawsuit? Get real.

  • Russ

    I have a problem with the picture associated with the article. I happen to sell phones and this is a picture of a Moto Droid, not a droid 2. Just saying.

    • Joseph H

      Actually Russ, you are mistaken. This is a Droid 2 for 2 reasons.
      1: The order of the 4 Buttons is different on the 2 vs. the original Droid.
      2: The sliding (scren) pice of the phone goes all the way to the bottom of the device. The original Droid had the bottom pice of the phone extending aproximately 11/2 inch lower than the screen portion.

  • Joseph H

    If you call BS like I do, go like the FAN PAGE I created on Facebook. It’s dedicated to this moron being a moron!

  • bb

    what a jokester a phone blow job

  • Brett

    That looks like a bullet to me(just grazing the glass). Between him and the phone(the phone’s upside down). I can see why it would seem as if the phone blew up on him. If I were him, I would be looking for the bullet hole. Motorola won’t cover that…

  • Brett

    … and the shattering glass got his ear.

  • Brett

    Well OK, I’m giving the guy the benefit of the doubt. I’ve repaired Iphones and I imagine the phone’s probably not that different. Too much stuff of different consistencies(motherboard, LCD) in between the battery and the face for the battery exploding to cause that effect. Besides, these batteries aren’t powerful laptop batteries and it wasn’t plugged in, that would be more power than the battery would have in it.

  • Catanga W

    he clearly had something happen to his ear but it looks to me like the display was shattered when he dropped it; he kept using it and the heat generated may have been too much and he cut his ear on the glass
    I had a similar injury from a fall and the amount of blood is a lot in the ear area; a very vascular part of the body…so it looks worse than the injury actually is.
    I have a Droid as well similar to his.
    Wonder where he bought the phone? on craigslist or off some guy on the street?

  • Orange County California

    It’s obvious Aron Embry is a two-bit unemployed loser going after people more successful than him. Just like that stupid woman who played us for fools when she said she found a finger in her Wendy’s chili. Aron Embry is doing the same thing. If he sues, I hope Motorola countersues him for defamation.

  • Los Angeles native

    Remember years ago when a bunch of people falsely claimed they found a hyperdermic needle in their Pepsi? Both they and that San Jose woman who planted that finger in her chili are real sick. Aron Embry, join the club! By the way, that woman is serving a nine-year prison sentence for filing a false claim. Aron, beware!

  • Aron Embry Is A Liar

    Aron Embry is a publicity-seeking ambulance chasing liar.

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