*Cellect Central Exclusive* Droid Razr Spontaneously combusted

Posted by Andrew Moore in News on January 31, 2013 with 1 Comment

Droid RazrOn January 31st we had a reader submitted photo showing the aftermath of an apparent Motorola Droid Razr spontaneous combustion.

Here is the story:

The end user plugged the device into the same wall outlet in the downstairs bedroom he had been using since he had purchased the device months ago. After a couple hours he was upstairs and smelled the scent of burning plastic coming from the basement. When he got to his room he was shocked to find the source of the stench was actually his Droid Razr. He immediately unplugged the OEM data cable (which was connected to an OEM wall adaptor) from the device and noticed a circle shaped protrusion on the right side of the display. With the device still being warm, he effortlessly picked at it resulting in a chunk of the device to pop out completely.  Closer inspection confirms that this was actually part of the fused Glass, Digitizer and LCD.

Perhaps the most interesting part of this incident is the fact that that the remaining intact Digitizer and LCD worked flawlessly, even after removing the piece that was seemingly adjacent to the source of the heat. When this was brought to a Verizon Wireless store, he was immediately connected to customer service. An abnormally long hold time had passed and he was instructed to send the device directly to Motorola. Anyone who has had experience with Verizon’s field replacement unit program would tell you that this was not normal warranty exchange protocol. He was sent a new device without any further questions being asked.

Cellect Repair decided to investigate. Here are some culprit possibilities of the integrated circuit based on the location of the burn mark.


This is the Texas Instruments WL1285C is a WiLink-7 WiFI SoC found in Motorola MOT-XT912. This cannot be confirmed as the source because of our limited  information on the situation. However, if WiFi was enabled, this would be a solid place to start.


One other IC near the affected area is the Voltage-Controlled Oscillator. This crystal manipulates oscillation frequencies based off of voltage input.

In late 2012 snopes.com investigated the rumor of cell phone charging electrocution. A number of valued Cellect Repair customers brought this article to our attention shortly after it was published for our thoughts on the rumor. This instantly became a viral article among Facebook and other popular technology blogs. Below are a few tips compiled by our lead technician to stay safe with charging any mobile electronic.

  • ALWAYS use the original charging cable and adapter which came with your device. They are the safest and most thoroughly tested.
  • Avoid overcharging your equipment. When it reaches 100%, remove it from the charger. This will also assist in maintaining longevity of the battery’s life over the years.
  • NEVER under any circumstances attempt to disassemble a battery.
  • If your device has been exposed to extreme heat or cold, let it get to room temperature before attempting to charge. This avoids potential permanent damage.

1 Comment

Angie Kirk on February 7, 2013  ·  Reply

I too am having some serious issues with my Droid Razr over heating. I have taken it back to Verizon many times and told them that it gets too hot to handle and it smells funny when this happens. It does it at all sorts of times ex. while charging(the correct one), while doing nothing and just very random times. Sure, they will send me a replacement but I paid good money (a lot)for a NEW phone and I will not settle for a refurbished phone.

I am glad you have reported on this issue because now I have more proof to back up my claim. What is Motorola going to do when my house burns down, or I get hurt by this phone? They need to stand behind there product and give me a NEW phone.

Thanks for listening,

Angie Kirk

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