Apple replaces 5,500 first-gen iPod nano batteries in Japan

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In the month of August, Apple replaced 5,527 first-generation iPod nano batteries, following an agreement by the company to address a problem with overheating.

According to The Mainichi Daily News, Japan's Ministroy of Economy, Trade and Industry reported that Apple replaced 4,994 batteries in the month after the company modified its website, making it easier for customers to find information on accidents where the device caught fire while recharging. For the entire month of August, Apple replaced 5,527 batteries, up from 232 in July and 62 in June.

On Aug. 11, Apple announced that it would replace iPod nanos that, in some cases, could overheat and catch fire. METI said that the hardware, sold between September 2005 and December 2006, is responsible for about 60 cases of overheating, four of them resulting in minor burns.

A few months ago, the trade ministry had declared the first-generation iPod nano a fire hazard. It ordered Apple to publicize a fix for the issue on its website.

Apple originally initiated a battery replacement program for the devices in 2008, but the renewed attention from METI clearly had an effect in August, when more than 5,500 device owners sought repairs. Apple has said that the defective batteries only overheat in "very rare cases."

METI has chastised Apple, with the trade ministry publicly saying it was "truly regrettable" that Apple waited until August to report about 30 incidents of overheating. Apple has not revealed how many of the first-generation iPod nano were sold in Japan.

The iPod nano has come a long way since the first iteration was released in 2005. Last week, the company announced a drastically redesigned model that sports a tiny 1.54-inch multi-touch display with a 240-by-240 pixel resolution.