Official Info on the Mifi 2372 Battery Issue. (Updated with reports from 2352 owners)

Posted on 04 May 2010 by

mifi If you’ve got a Novatel Mifi 2372 (Canada) or 2352 (Europe) model, you might want to read this.

Update: Readers have confirmed that the 2352 is affected. See comments below and check back here for feedback from Novatel. I am in direct contact.

Apparently there have been some battery swelling issues reported on the 2372 related to Bell which have caused the battery door to become jammed. In two cases, it appears that customers have punctured their batteries by using sharp objects to remove the cover.

Engadget have reported the story (in a rather sensationalist fashion considering that this is a safety issue) and we’ve had a call from Novatel themselves who took the time to detail the issue.

Two carriers in Canada have reported the issue and Bell have made the decision to disable their MiFi’s remotely. (There’s a remote-kill feature?) Novatel have kicked off a program of battery and battery door replacements through the two carriers and issued a product advisory.

Note that there is no product recall taking place.

What they fail to address is the 2352 which is the same device with European HSPA bands. Novatel confirmed to us that the 2352 is the same design so one assumes that the same battery supplier is used and that the same problem can occur. 2352 owners out there, please be careful. Don’t use sharp objects to open the battery cover and if you experience a swollen battery, please let Novatel know (and drop a comment here so that we can pass it on too.)

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  • New article: Official Info on the Mifi 2372 Battery Issue. http://bit.ly/d8BgRF

  • Official Info on the Mifi 2372 Battery Issue.: If you’ve got a Novatel Mifi 2372 (Canada) or 2352 (Europe) model,… http://bit.ly/b5bZaD

  • Tom Gilbert

    Happened to me, I’ve had a MiFi 2352 for a long time now and just recently (about a month ago) discovered the battery had swollen up a lot (enough to push the cover all the way off – I’d say to about twice its original size). I was pretty scared of what it might do so gingerly disposed of the battery before I considered whether this could be a wider problem. Also, I figured I could easily buy a replacement battery but haven’t found one online anywhere at this point!

  • Tai Pang

    I searched for the battery all over Hong Kong. Finally a got to a shop where the guy can replace the internal cells of the batteries for customers. He mentioned that the replacement batteries for MiFi 2352 were available one year ago, but not now. If my battery ever wears out in the future, I need to keep the whole battery intact, with the circuit booard inside. So he can replace the internal content.

    Tai Pang

  • Morganj

    Had the same problem with both of my 2352 units. Batteries seem to swell up when the units spend most of their life connected to mains power during use.

    If you are using your MiFi at home plug in the power switch the unit on then remove the battery.

    After I got replacement batteries for my units I always use them without batteries at home.

  • johnkzin

    What about the Verizon (CDMA) version of the Mifi?

    • The MiFi 2200 — addressing the CDMA market — has different design features and components; hence, it is not affected.

  • Update on Mifi 2372 battery issue. MiFi 2352 owners are reporting the same. http://bit.ly/bQW6J8 #safety #battery

  • RT @chippy: Update on Mifi 2372 battery issue. MiFi 2352 owners are reporting the same. http://bit.ly/bQW6J8 #safety #battery

  • Steve ‘Chippy’ Paine

    Thank you all for your feedback. This has been brought to the attention of Novatel and they have promised to keep me updated. I’ll update this post (above, in-body) if I hear anything.

  • IMO

    I am in Australia and I bought my MiFi from Mobilx and it has stopped working from battery power. I’m about to contact Novatel (with the address provided by UMPCPortal above) to find out if my device could possibly have been shut down like those in the US. The MiFi still works when I have it connected to a power socket though. I’m interested to find out if anyone else who bought their MiFi from Mobilx is also suffering this problem.

    • IMO

      Looks like it may have been a coincidence, the symptoms have cleared without my taking any action. Besides the automated response from Novatel acknowledging receipt of my email I haven’t heard from them. Mobilx responded within 24 hours with a firmware update. I was about to install the firmware but I tried the MiFi on battery and it is working normally again.

  • jpmatrix

    I’m very surprise to discover this problem because i never had one with my MiFi 2352 bought from MobilX…. and my mifi is switched on quite all the day at work and at home, with its dc adapter….
    sometimes the mifi hang and i have to remove the battery while the unit is warm (and it can become very warm ;) but the door seems to open quite easily.
    perhaps only some devices are concerned?

  • Mate

    I have bought my MiFi from mobilx as well, but I have not experienced the battery issue yet :)

    BTW mobilx keeps the original MiFi battery in stock http://www.mobilx.hu/en/category-1031/category-1044/mobile-intenet-accessories/novatel-wireless-mifi-2352-akkumulator-en.html

    I bought mine from them.

  • Tom Gilbert

    @Mate: Thanks! I was looking for one of those :)

  • Mate

    @Tom: you are welcome!

  • jpmatrix

    just seen a Mifi (from Sprint) in the latest 24 ep 8 :)
    MiFi, Jack Bauer powered ;)

  • MANISH

    i have mifi and am based in uk i have similar issues with battery swollen to thrice the size and the device has stopped working all together

  • Spanish

    I have Mifi 2352 with Vodafone Spain and I had this issue the first month, even when I didn’t use it a lot.
    So I use it without battery.
    I’ve noticed it gets very very hot if I use it as a router, and not so hot using like modem (without battery in both cases).
    I updated the firmware a few days ago with the 5.21 version (I’m not sure if the 5.24 available in Vodafone Germany is only in German or it’s also in English or Spanish).

  • I have a MiFi 2352 and have experienced a ‘fat squishy battery’. I also live in Spain and I returned with my unit and battery to the local suppliers who told me to send it to their engineers in Madrid and they would decide who was at fault, within 15 days of receipt of the unit and battery. As I run an internet based business and live in the campo (no phone lines), this was not an option. Within 24hrs I had an alternative supplier and my 2352 is back in its box living in a dark cupboard – and thats where it is staying, complete with fat battery!

  • Jacek

    I have the same problem with my MiFi 2352. It gets very hot and the battery gets 2 times bigger than when it’s cold. I bought it in Poland from Plus. After removing the battery and working on the adapter the device gets a bit colder than with battery but it’s still quite hot.

  • Battery swelled. I started playing with it and it Suddenly leaked with smoke and sparks. I was in the toilet. I jumped away to the bathtub to avoid getting burnt!
    I’m using mifi bought from zain Kuwait mobile co.
    My model is 2352. I took pictures, bit after it exploded.

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