Toshiba Satellite Notebooks Recalled for Overheating

Toshiba issues a recall for a series of Satellite notebooks after receiving reports of the notebooks overheating and deforming the plastic casing area around the AC adapter plug.

Technology giant Toshiba, along with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, announced a voluntary recall of its Satellite T135, Satellite T135D and Satellite ProT130 notebooks due to overheating that could cause damage to the notebooks and burn the users.

It is estimated that there are 41,000 of these units worldwide. The commission said consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed, and noted it is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. The recalled products were sold between August 2009 and August 2010.

According to the commission's Website, the notebook computers can overheat at the notebook's plug-in to the AC adapter, posing a burn hazard to consumers. Toshiba has received 129 reports of the notebook computers overheating and deforming the plastic casing area around the AC adapter plug, including two reports of minor burn injuries that did not require medical attention and two reports of minor property damage.

Consumers who might be affected can find the model name and number printed on a label on the bottom of the notebook computers. The CPSC recommends that consumers immediately download the latest version of Toshiba's BIOS computer program to their notebook computer via Toshiba's Website. "This new computer program will detect whether the notebook computer is overheating, and if so, disable the notebook computer's external power and display a message directing the consumer to contact Toshiba for a free repair," said a CPSC official statement. "Consumers who do not have Internet access should contact Toshiba to arrange for installation of the updated BIOS."

Should the BIOS determine that a harness failure is occurring, external power will immediately be disabled, eliminating the possibility of the notebook overheating. Users will then need to contact the Toshiba call center to set up a warranty repair. According to the company's support page, if the harness failure is detected while the system is operating, users will receive a system message indicating that the failure has occurred and that external power has been disabled.

The company said users may continue to use the system, without risk of overheating, using the remaining battery charge, but recommends that users immediately close all open files and applications to avoid any data loss. Once the data has been saved, the system should be properly shut down. It will not be possible to recharge the battery within the system until it has been repaired, according to Toshiba.

On Toshiba's consumer support site, the company explained certain Satellite T135, T135D and Satellite Pro T130 laptop computers have been manufactured with a potentially faulty DC-In harness. These computers will have model/part numbers beginning with PST3AU, PST3BU or PST3LU. "The defective harness may, in some circumstances, overheat to the point of melting the computer's base at the location where the AC adapter plugs into the unit," the company said. "To date there have been no reports of serious injury, but the temperature is sufficient to pose a burn hazard if specific parts of the DC-In Jack or plug are touched when they are overheated."

Toshiba is just the latest in a series of notebook manufacturers issuing recalls for overheating computers. In 2010, there have been at least three other companies that have issued recalls because of overheating concerns. In January, Acer issued a recall on certain notebooks for heating issues. In May, HP recalled 54,000 laptop batteries that were overheating. Sony followed in June with a recall of Vaio notebooks that were also overheating.