Acer issues a recall for notebooks possibly affected by a microphone cable that may overheat and melt the exterior casing.
Computer maker Acer, along with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission, announced the recall of six Acer notebook models due to a
burn hazard. The organization said about 22,000 units would need to be recalled
after Acer received three reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in
slight melting of the external casing. No incidents occurred in the United
States and no injuries have been reported, the Safety Commission said.
Consumers with affected models are encouraged to contact Acer for a free
repair. In October 2009 Acer issued a similar recall in Europe for its Aspire
notebook models, which developed the same problem.
The commission also recommended consumers should immediately
stop using recalled products unless otherwise instructed. The specific hazard
was determined to be an internal microphone wire under the palm rest, which can
short circuit and overheat. This poses a potential burn hazard to consumers.
The recalled notebook computer models are the Acer AS3410, AS3410T, AS3810T,
AS3810TG, AS3810TZ and AS3810TZG. The computer's screen size is about 13.3
inches measured diagonally, and the commission noted not all units are
affected. They recommend consumers contact Acer to determine if their specific
unit is included in the recall. The affected notebooks were sold between June
2009 and October 2009 for between $650 and $1,150 at through various
distribution channels and retail stores, including Tech Data Corp., Amazon.com
and Radio Shack.
To determine whether a unit is affected and requires to be
serviced, Acer directs notebook owners to enter the serial number (22 digits
alphanumeric code printed on the white label on the bottom of the product) or
the SNID (11 digits numeric code, also located on the white label) on the
support page of the Web site. "In the affected units the microphone cable may
overheat when extreme pressure is applied repeatedly to the left palm rest," a
statement on the Acer Web site explained. "As a result, the unitҳ case may
become deformed and the system may malfunction." The announcement represents Acer's first major product
recall in the U.S. since 2007, when Acer joined a list of computer makers
including Dell, Apple and Gateway in recalling notebooks equipped with Sony
lithium-ion batteries, The 27,000 notebooks recalled by Acer were all sold in
the United States between May 2004 and November 2006. Problems with the Sony
battery packs occurred when microscopic particles in the battery cells came
into contact with other parts of the battery cell, causing a short circuit in
Nathan Eddy is Associate Editor, Midmarket, at eWEEK.com. Before joining eWEEK.com, Nate was a writer with ChannelWeb and he served as an editor at FierceMarkets. He is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.