Some B&H customers who had recently purchased a Nikon EN-EL15b battery received an unusual email today. The retail giant says it sold a “subpar batch” of the batteries and will be replacing all batteries sold within a certain time frame.
Nikon Rumors first reported on the email sent out, posting a screenshot of it:
“It has come to our attention that we unfortunately received a subpar batch of Nikon EN-EL15b rechargeable lithium-ion batteries,” B&H writes. “Since it is impossible for us to ascertain which of our customers received from the affected batch, we will be replacing all of these batteries sent to our customers regardless of which battery they might have received.
“With regard to the battery you have received, please discontinue use and take the battery to the nearest recycling program. As a resource to help you find a location near you, you can try looking at https://www.call2recycle.org/.
“The batteries should not be thrown in the general trash […] Please do not attempt to ship the battery back to us as it is potentially dangerous to do so.”
B&H says the replacement batteries will be sent out for free to affected customers within the next day or two.
Although B&H states that the batch contained “subpar” batteries, we’re hearing from a trusted source that B&H (and possibly other reputable retailers) accidentally sourced a batch of counterfeit Nikon batteries and sold a number of them to customers before discovering the issue.
Thus, it wasn’t a problem with Nikon manufacturing that produced this “subpar batch,” and Nikon is expected to come out with a public statement saying that it never made or sold those affected batteries.
Nikon EN-EL15b batteries cost around $60 to $70 and are compatible with a number of the company’s DSLR and mirrorless cameras, including the Z6/Z7, D850, D500, and D7500.
As B&H notes in the email, genuine Nikon EN-EL15b batteries were sold alongside the counterfeits, so if you did receive a real one from your purchase, your replacement will score you a second real battery for free.
Update on 5/24/19: Nikon has confirmed that the “subpar” batteries were counterfeit. Here’s a statement the company provided to PetaPixel:
We have been made aware that some customers who purchased individual EN-EL15b batteries from authorized Nikon retailers received defective product. These batteries are not genuine and were not manufactured or distributed by Nikon USA. Concerned users can find a guide for determining if the battery they have purchased is a genuine Nikon battery at this link: https://www.nikonimgsupport.com/ni/NI_article?articleNo=000001701&lang=en_US