Apple’s AirTags are involved in a huge problem in Australia due to a questionable build. It all started back in the last month when a major Australian retailer took AirTags off its shelves. It was a direct response to concerns that the Bluetooth-enabled item tracking device represents a threat to children. As per the warning, the device’s size is a threat alone, however, it also has an “easy-to-access” battery. Almost one month later, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is officially determining that Apple’s AirTag represents a threat to children. There is now a big warning for parents that should keep the product away from their kids.
In a press release, the ACCC states it is “urging parents” to keep Apple’s AirTags out of reach from children. The Commission states that there huge concerns with the safety when children accessing this product. The main problem involves the “accessibility and security of the button battery inside the product”. For those unaware, Apple’s AirTag features a replaceable coin-cell battery. One can be swap it out by pressing down and twisting the backplate. The Commision states that the “press and twist” mechanism is too easy. Therefore, even small kids can figure how to open the backplate. One could easily remove the backplate and swallow the lithium coin-cell battery.
ACCC is concerned with the easy access to Apple AirTags lithium battery
Curiously, the design of the backplate and intent of the “press and twist” process is similar to typical over-counter or prescription-based medication. It usually requires a firm press and twists on the lit to open. According to the ACCC, the concerns go beyond the design of the product. It also involves user confusion about whether the backplate is securely closed. One could bypass some of the necessary steps to safely close the device and made the process for children to access the battery even easier.
In previous statements, Apple has defended the design of AirTags. The company states that it is fully in compliance with international and local regulations. In the statement, the company even states it plans to directly address concerns over the lack of warning on the AirTag’s box. However, it didn’t give more details regarding when that new package will begin shipping.
“AirTag design meets international child safety standards, including those in Australia, by requiring a two step push-and-turn mechanism to access the user-replaceable battery. We are following the regulations closely and are working to ensure that our products will meet or exceed new standards, including those for package labeling, well ahead of the timeline required”
Curiously, Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has been increasingly more vigilant of Apple of late. The Commission recently launched a plethora of investigations into the Cupertino giant.