It took almost five years, but Apple Japan has finally agreed to replace first-generation iPod nano players in the event of their overheating. (Video above is a few years old).

This applies only in Japan, where, under pressure from local government, Apple has confirmed “very rare cases of overheating” in the battery of iPod nanos sold between Sep 2005 and Dec 2006. The company has published a note to its website admitting the problem.

The overheating had the effect of distorting the shape of the music player, or otherwise making it unusable. The fault came from a particular battery supplier.

Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said the recharging problems caused 27 overheating incidents, including six fires, which left four people with minor burns.

Apple waited until last week before it admitted knowledge of another 34 such incidents. A delay in data-sharing Japan’s authorities see as “truly regrettable”.

What hasn’t been revealed is just how Apple will handle similar complaints at the overheating iPod nano in other nations.

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