Acer Notebooks Recalled Due to Burn Hazard

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., 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 the cell.