Apple has sent out emails to registered owners of 1st generation iPod nanos stating that certain iPod nanos created between September 2005 and January 2006 might overheat and pose a safety risk. This is because of a manufacturing defect from a single supplier, and the likelihood of problems increases as the model ages. Apple then directs the owner to a replacement program.
There have been some cases of the iPod nano's battery overheating in the past, and while a search on Apple's support site turns up a document, the link is currently not active. The issue turned up previously in 2009, and the Japanese government said in 2008 that three fires were caused in Japan from faulty 1st-generation nano batteries, and that Apple had two other reported cases where people were burned by their iPod nanos.
For those wondering if the emails they received are legitimate, a link to the replacement program can be found directly from Apple's support site for earlier models of the iPod nano and Apple's exchange and repair extension program.
The full email text can be read below.
Apple has determined that, in very rare cases, the battery in the iPod nano (1st generation) may overheat and pose a safety risk. Affected iPod nanos were sold between September 2005 and December 2006.
This issue has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages.
Apple recommends that you stop using your iPod nano (1st gen) and follow the process noted below to order a replacement unit, free of charge.
Note: This battery issue is specific to the iPod nano (1st gen) and does not affect any other iPod.
You may order a replacement unit via the web. Click here to begin.
Your iPod nano serial number will be checked to verify that it is eligible for this program. You will receive a replacement unit approximately 6 weeks after we receive your current iPod nano (1st gen).
If you have a personalized iPod nano, you will receive a non-personalized replacement. Make sure to use iTunes to back up any data on your current iPod nano before sending it in for a replacement unit.
Identifying an iPod nano (1st gen):
• It has a black or white plastic front and a silver metal back - later iPod nano models have a metal front and back.
If you need assistance with placing an order, please visit an Apple Retail Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) and bring your iPod nano with you for serial number validation.
Your replacement iPod product is warranted to be free from defects for 90 days from the date of service.
Thank you for participating in this program.