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Deadly Lithium Battery Fires Spur House to Pass Safety Rules

The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would strengthen safety standards applicable to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries.

CBS News reports that the legislation passed by the House in mid-May, titled “Setting Consumer Standards for Lithium-Ion Batteries Act,” will require the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to establish a safety standard applicable to rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The legislation was originally introduced in 2023 by Congressman Ritchie Torres (D-NY) as H.R. 1797 and passed with an overwhelming bi-partisan vote of 378-34.

The legislation now goes to the U.S. Senate where it will be reviewed by the Senate’s Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation.

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The legislation arises from the surge in fires stemming from poor-quality rechargeable batteries used in e-bikes and electric scooters. As evidence of the scope of the problem, CBS cites statistics from the New York City Fire Department, which reported more than 400 fires, 300 injuries, and 12 deaths from fires caused by defective lithium-ion batteries in New York City between 2019 and 2023.

Read the CBS News report on the rechargeable lithium-ion battery legislation.

Read the House of Representatives bill H.R. 1797..

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