Electronics

Acer Notebook Computer Recall

On January 7, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Acer America Corp. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 22,000 Acer Aspire-series Notebook Computers, citing the potential for an internal microphone wire under the palm rest to short circuit and overheat. The wire can pose a burn hazard to consumers.

The recalled notebook models include the 13.3-inch screen notebooks with model numbers AS3410, AS3410T, AS3810T, AS3810TG, AS3810TZ, or AS3810TZG.

The company has received three reports of the defective notebooks short circuiting, which resulted in a slight melting of the external case, though no injuries have been reported. The defective notebooks were sold at ABS Computer Technologies, D&H Distributing, Fry’s Electronics, Ingram Micro, Radio Shack, SED/American Express, Synnex Corporation, SYX Distribution, Tech Data Corporation, and other retailers nationwide and online from June 2009 through October 2009.

Consumers are instructed to stop using the recalled notebooks immediately and contact Acer at 866-695-2237 to determine if their computer is affected in order to receive a free repair.

 

Durabrand DVD Player Recall Expands

On September 1, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. announced a recall expansion of approximately 4.2 million additional Durabrand DVD players in pink and purple colors. This is an expansion of the August 2009 recall involving 1.5 million Durabrand DVD players in silver.

The recalled DVD players have a circuit board that can overhead and pose a fire and burn hazard to consumers. The recall affects all single Durabrand DVD players in silver, pink, and purple with a remote control. The products have U-shaped openings in the top for a DVD and were sold with the following UPC codes and model numbers:

  • Silver: UPC 1799901002 (model no.  1002)
  • Pink: UPC 1799934100 (model no. 1002 PINK)
  • Purple: UPC 1799932100 (model no. 1002 PUR)

Wal-Mart has received 14 reports of the DVD players overheating, with 7 reports of fires that caused property damage. The products were sold in Wal-Mart stores nationwide from January 2006 through July 2009. Consumers are urged to stop using the DVD players immediately and return them to Wal-Mart for a full refund.

 

HP Computer Battery Recall

On May 14, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Hewlett-Packard Co. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 70,000 lithium-ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers, due to a potential fire hazard. The recalled lithium-ion batteries have been shown to overheat, and there have been two known reports of the batteries overheating and rupturing, resulting in flames and a fire with minor property damage.

The recall affects lithium-ion rechargeable batteries used in the following HP and Compaq notebook computers (with model numbers located on the label on the bottom of the computer):

  • HP Pavilion: dv2000, dv2500, dv2700, dv6000, dv6500, dv6700, dv9000, dv9500, dv9700, dx6000, dx6500, dx6700
  • Compaq Presario: A900, C700, F500, F700, V3000, V3500, V3700, V6000, V6500, V6700
  • HP: G6000, G7000
  • HP Compaq: 6720s

Batteries affected by the recall include only those with one of the following bar code labels, where the x represents any letter or number:

  • 62940xxAXVxxxx
  • 65033xxB7Uxxxx
  • 65033xxB7Vxxxx
  • 65033xxBGUxxxx
  • 65035xxB7Uxxxx
  • 65035xxB7Vxxxx
  • 65035xxBGUxxxx
  • 65035xxBGVxxxx
  • 67059xxV8Uxxxx
  • 67059xxV8Vxxxx

The defective batteries were sold in computer and electronic stores nationwide and online from August 2007 through March 2008.

Consumers are advised to immediately remove the notebook computer battery and contact HP at 800-889-2031 to find out if their battery is subject to recall. A free replacement battery will be provided.

HP, Compaq Battery Recall

On May 21, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Hewlett-Packard Co. announced a safety recall of approximately 54,000 lithium-ion batteries used in Hewlett-Packard and Compaq notebook computers, due to a potential fire and burn hazard if the batteries overheat.

This is an expansion of a previous HP computer battery recall issued in 2009. Since May 2009, HP has received 38 additional reports of the computer batteries overheating and rupturing, with 31 reports of minor property damage and more than ten reports of personal injury.

Certain lithium-ion batteries used in the following HP and Compaq notebook computers may be affected by the recall and should be inspected immediately:

  • HP Pavilion: dv2000, dv2500, dv2700, dv6000, dv6500, dv6700, dv9000, dv9500, dv9700, dx6000, dx6500, dx6700
  • Compaq Presario: A900, C700, F500, F700, V3000, V3500, V3700, V6000, V6500, V6700
  • HP: G6000, G7000
  • HP Compaq: 6510b, 6515b, 6710b, 6710s, 6715b, 6715s, 6720s

Batteries affected by this recall include only those with one of the following bar code labels, where the “^” represents any letter or number:

  • 62940^^AXV^^^^
  • 62940^^AXV^^^^
  • 62940^^AXV^^^^
  • 65000^^B5V^^^^
  • 65033^^B7U^^^^
  • 65033^^B7V^^^^
  • 65033^^BGU^^^^
  • 65035^^B7U^^^^
  • 65035^^B7U^^^^
  • 65035^^B7U^^^^
  • 65035^^B7V^^^^
  • 65035^^B7V^^^^
  • 65035^^B7V^^^^
  • 65035^^BGU^^^^
  • 65035^^BGU^^^^
  • 65035^^BGU^^^^
  • 65035^^BGV^^^^
  • 65035^^BGV^^^^
  • 65035^^BGV^^^^
  • 67059^^V8U^^^^
  • 67059^^V8V^^^^

The defective batteries were sold in computer and electronic stores nationwide and online from August 2007 through July 2008 for between $500 and $3,000. Additionally, battery packs were available separately for between $100 and $160.

Consumers are advised to remove batteries from any notebook computer on the recall list and contact HP at 800-889-2031 to find out if their battery is subject to recall. A free replacement battery will be provided.

Insignia Flat-Panel LCD TV Recall

On April 2, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Best Buy Co., Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 13,300 Insignia 26-inch flat-panel LCD televisions. The power supply for the recalled televisions can fail, which poses a fire and burn hazard.

Best Buy has become aware of two incidences involving fire that caused damage to the television and the wall, with one minor burn injury reported.

The recall affects all Insignia 26-inch flat-panel LCD televisions with model number IS-LCDTV26 printed on the back of the set. The televisions were sold at Best Buy stores nationwide and online from August 2005 through June 2006.

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled televisions immediately and contact Best Buy at 800-233-0462 for a replacement gift card.

PowerBook, iBook Battery Recall

On May 20, 2005, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Apple Computer, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 128,000 LG rechargeable computer batteries for iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 computers. The rechargeable batteries found in these Apple computers can overheat due to an internal short, which poses a fire hazard to consumers.

Apple has received six reports of the batteries overheating.

The recall affects lithium ion batteries used in the following computers:

  • 12-inch iBook G4: battery model #A1061; battery serial range HQ441-HQ507
  • 12-inch PowerBook G4: battery model #A1079; battery serial range 3X446 – 3X510
  • 15-inch PowerBook G4: battery model #A1078; battery serial range 3X446 – 3X509

The computers containing the defective batteries were sold from October 2004 through May 2005. Consumers are advised to remove the recalled batteries from the computer immediately and contact Apple at 800-275-2273 to obtain a free replacement battery. An AC adapter can be used until the replacement battery arrives.

 

RadioShack Power Supply Recall

On July 2, 2008, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and RadioShack Corp. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 160,000 13.8V DC Power Supplies, due to faulty wiring in the unit that could pose an electrocution or fire hazard.

The recall affects the RadioShack 13.8V DC Power Supplies with catalog numbers 22-507 or 22-508 and date codes 08A04 through 01A08. Power Supplies that have a green dot on the product and packaging are not included in the recall.

The defective Power Supplies were sold in RadioShack stores nationwide from October 2004 through January 2008.

Consumers are advised to unplug the recalled units immediately and visit any RadioShack store for a free repair.

Rechargeable Batteries

Batteries are cartridges which convert stored chemical energy into electrical energy as a means of providing power for many household products, appliances, tools, gadgets, and toys. There are two common types of batteries, primary and secondary. Primary batteries convert chemical energy to electrical energy immediately following manufacture and until the initial supply of reactants diminishes, at which time the battery is disposed of and replaced. Secondary batteries, or “rechargeable batteries”, can be connected to a source of electrical power and the original composition can be restored multiple times after depletion until internal corrosion, dissipation of active materials, and loss of electrolytes occur through aging and use. Secondary batteries must be initially charged before they are usable for the first time.

The Freedonia Group estimates that the U.S. consumes $14 billion of batteries produced each year, including both primary and secondary types. By 2012, it is estimated that the U.S. will use approximately $17.5 billion in batteries each year.

Rechargeable Battery Defects

Hazards associated with rechargeable battery use most often relate to chemical or mechanical issues. The mechanical problems are generally caused by chemical instability which results in overheating, explosions or rupture of the batteries. The latest versions of batteries – high energy-density lithiums – are more hazardous than conventional ones due to volatility and delicacy when compared with more stable and durable non-rechargeable varieties.

Hazards commonly presented by rechargeable battery usage are:

  • Explosion – causes personal injury and structural damage
  • Leakage of dangerous chemicals
  • Toxic metal pollution

Statistics

In 1991, the National Electric Injury Surveillance System reported 12,560 battery-related injuries in the U.S. About 70 percent of the injuries listed affected body parts exposed during handling of the defective battery. The most affected body parts were :

  • Eyes – 40.9 percent
  • Internal – 19.2 percent
  • Head, face, mouth – 15.7 percent
  • Hands, fingers – 7.5 percent
  • Legs, ankles, feet, toes – 6.1 percent
  • Body – 5.2 percent
  • Ears – 3.4 percent
  • Arms, shoulders – 2 percent

The types of injuries were :

  • Chemical burns – 35.8 percent
  • Ingestion – 19.2 percent
  • Contusion/abrasion – 12.0 percent
  • Skin injuries – 10.3 percent
  • Foreign body – 8.5 percent
  • Laceration – 5.2 percent
  • Poisoning – 2.1 percent
  • Other – 6.9 percent

Battery Recalls

Some examples of rechargeable batteries recalled in cooperation with the Consumer Product Safety Commission due to reported incidences or documented injuries are:

  • Battery-Biz of California recalled about 10,000 high capacity laptop computer batteries in 2005 due to an internal short causing the battery to overheat, posing fire and burn risk. Six batteries reportedly overheated and melted causing property damage.
  • Lenmar Enterprises of California recalled 1,400 cell phone rechargeable batteries in January 2010 due to overheating and burn risk. Six batteries were reported to have overheated causing property damage, particularly to the cell phones themselves.
  • Hewlett Packard of Palo Alto, Calif., recalled 70,000 laptop batteries in 2009 due to reports of overheating, rupturing, and potential for fire. Two batteries reportedly overheated and ruptured, causing property damage but no injury.
  • NEC Technologies recalled 13,000 laptop batteries in 1994 due to risk of explosion and fire. Seven incidences of smoke and/or fire occurred without injury.
  • In 2001, Dell Computer Corp. recalled 284,000 laptop batteries for fire and burn risk after one overheated during recharging.
  • One burn injury to a cell phone user resulted when a Kyocera battery short-circuited and erupted with force due to excessive heat. One-hundred forty thousand Kyocera batteries were subsequently recalled in 2004.
  • An Elpower battery in a child’s riding toy exploded when the child’s father attempted to recharge the battery according to a Schumacher charging unit’s listed specifications. The plastic covering from the battery injured the father’s eye and resulted in an award of $250,000 in punitive damages.

Samsung Jitterbug Phone Recall

On May 22, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Samsung Telecommunications America announced a voluntary product safety recall of approximately 160,000 Samsung “Jitterbug” cell phones, due to a software problem that could pose a safety risk. The recalled cell phones could fail to connect to emergency 911 if in a no-service area and displaying the “out of range, try again later” message.

The recall affects all Jitterbug cell phones with model numbers SPH-a110 and SPH-a120 with standard key pads and version BB14 software. The phones were sold in electronics and drug stores nationwide and online from March 2008 through May 2009.

Consumers are advised to wait to receive a letter from Samsung telling them they are eligible for the free software upgrade. Emergency dialing will still work if the phone is in a service area.

Sony AC Adapter Recall

On October 28, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Sony Electronics, Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 69,000 Sony VAIO Computer AC Adapters, due do a potential electric shock hazard. The insulation inside the AC adapter can fail over time. Sony has received four reports of the AC adapters short circuiting.

The recall affects the AC adapter model “VGP-AC19V17,” which was included in the following Sony products:

  • All-in-One VAIO Desktop Computers (VGC-LT series and VGC-JS2 series)
  • VAIO Docking Stations (VGP-PRBX1 and VGP-PRFE1)

The defective AC adapters were sold in SonyStyle stores, various electronics retailers, and online from September 2005 through October 2009.

Consumers are advised to turn off their computer, stop using the AC adapter immediately, and contact Sony at 877-361-4481 to receive a free replacement.

 

Targus Laptop Adapter Recall

On April 30, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Comarco Inc. announced a voluntary recall of approximately 507,000 Targus universal wall power adapters for laptops, after the power adapters were found to have faulty wiring that can pose a fire and burn hazard to consumers.

Comarco has received more than 500 reports of the adapter’s connector tips overheating, which can melt the plastic casings. The company has received eight reports of minor finger or hand burns from the faulty adapters.

The recall affects Targus power adapter models with the following SKU numbers:

  • APA23US-02
  • APA23US-03
  • APA23US-04
  • APA63US-03
  • APA63US-04
  • APM62US-03
  • APM62US-04

Consumers are advised to stop using the recalled Targus laptop power adapters immediately and contact Comarco at 877-781-5186 to receive a free replacement. The units were sold at Wal-Mart, Best Buy, Office Depot, Amazon.com, and other retailers nationwide from June 2009 through March 2010 for around $100.

 

Wii 4-Dock Battery Recharge Station Recall

On August 11, 2009, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Griffin International announced a voluntary recall of approximately 220,000 Wii 4-Dock Recharge Station products, citing a possibility that the battery pack can overheat and pose a burn or fire hazard.

The recall involves the Psyclone Essentials (PSE6501) and React (RT530) Wii 4-Dock Battery Recharge Stations, which include a white docking station with four recharge stations and a four rechargeable battery pack.

Griffin International has received six reports of the product overheating, with two consumers reporting minor hand burns. The products were sold in Target and Toys R Us stores nationwide, as well as online, from January 2008 through July 2009.

Consumers are urged to stop using the recharge stations immediately and contact Griffin International at 888-344-4702 to learn how to obtain a free replacement product.

 

Dive Computer Recall

On April 14, 2010, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Health Canada, and Mares USA announced a voluntary recall of approximately 755 Mares Nemo Air Dive Computers, citing a possible drowning hazard. An O-ring in the high pressure air connector can fail and leak air, which can cause a loss of breathing gas and force a diver to surface quickly to breathe.

The recall affects the following Mares dive products, which feature a digital screen for measuring the time and depth of a dive:

  • Nemo Air Dive Computer
  • Nemo Air Dive Computer with Compass
  • High Pressure Hose with Quick Connector for Nemo Air
  • Quick Connector Assembly for Nemo Air

Though there have been no reports of injury associated with the defect, Mares USA warns that consumers should immediately stop using the dive computers and connectors and return the products to an authorized Mares dive shop for an inspection and a possible free replacement O-ring connector assembly.

The recalled products were sold in specialty dive shops in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico from July 2008 through July 2009 for between $800 and $900.

Mares can be contacted at 800-874-3236 or online