Power bank bursts into flames after being left in car's glove compartment in Malaysia

Mr Tan’s badly-damaged dashboard after the power bank in his car's glove compartment burst into flames.
Mr Tan’s badly-damaged dashboard after the power bank in his car's glove compartment burst into flames. PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

NIBONG TEBAL, Malaysia (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - A 72-year-old retired engineer is thankful that he wasn't in his car when the power bank he left inside the glove compartment burst into flames.

Recalling the incident that took place last Saturday afternoon (March 19), Mr Tan Heng Swee said he parked his Proton Iswara at the Old Frees Association in Jalan Sultan Ahmad Shah and went for lunch with his wife at a nearby restaurant.

"About an hour later, the parking attendant rushed in to inform me that smoke was billowing from my car. I quickly grabbed an extinguisher and put out the fire.

"Later, I found out the fire was caused by the power bank.

"I believe the hot weather had triggered a small explosion. Luckily, nobody was hurt," he said at his house in Simpang Ampat on Friday (March 25).

Mr Tan later posted about the incident on his Facebook page to warn others of the danger of leaving a power bank inside a car. The post went viral.

"I advise the public not to leave any electrical gadget or power bank inside their vehicle," he said.

Mr Tan said the damage to his 15-year-old car had not been ascertained but the repair is expected to take about two weeks.

Last month, the Consumers Association of Penang had highlighted that some power banks built with cheap batteries could easily explode or start a fire.

Its president, S.M. Mohamed Idris, said these types of imported power banks were easily available at flea markets, pasar malam and shopping malls.