Last week, B&H Photo began emailing customers who had purchased Nikon EN-EL15b rechargeable Li-ion camera batteries, advising these buyers that they may have received units from a 'subpar batch.' The company didn't elaborate on what subpar meant in this instance, but did state that it would replace all Nikon EN-EL15b batteries it had shipped because it couldn't determine which customers had received the bad units.

Following a leak that claimed as much, Nikon has confirmed counterfeit EN-EL15b batteries have been sold by authorized retailers to some of its camera owners. In a statement to DPReview, a Nikon spokesperson said:

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.

Counterfeit batteries may be poorly constructed and cause damage to the camera hardware; lithium-ion batteries are known to be volatile and counterfeit units are particularly prone to overheating, which may result in fire or explosion. In addition to the fake EN-EL15b batteries, Nikon says it has been alerted to other counterfeit batteries intended for its hardware, including fake versions of its EN-EL11, EN-EL10, EN-EL9a, and others.

Nikon customers who have purchased camera batteries from third-party sources can evaluate their products for signs of being counterfeit using Nikon's guide. Indications may include font differences in the logo and text on the battery and the possible inclusion of the battery model number on the front of the batteries.

B&H Photo encourages its customers to recycle the EN-EL15b batteries they received from the retailer. These customers will receive free authentic replacement batteries from B&H, which will send both order processed and shipment emails to the customers.