Toshiba Recalls Batteries Amongst Fears of Melting

Toshiba is a company known for their laptops and SSD’s, offering hardware to hundreds of people. If you are one of those people it may be best to double-check your laptop as Toshiba recalls batteries amongst fears of the batteries overheating and melting.

That’s right, the batteries can actually melt. Affecting nearly 40 different including popular Satellite models, the recall is expected to affect over 100,000 devices in the US and Canada alone.

In order to check if your battery, be it an original or one you’ve ordered as a replacement, you can go to Toshiba’s website and download a utility that will check if your battery is one of those affected by the recall. You can check the battery manually by comparing its battery part and accessory party number to the list provided here. As part of the recall, anyone who is found to have an affected battery will receive a replacement battery, with reassurances it won’t be one known for overheating and melt.

With large companies like Microsoft and Amazon having recalled equipment, all amongst heating and safety risks, the risk that a bad battery or charger is far too great to ignore. People have reported mobile phones exploding due to charging and most recently a mobile phones was found to have burst into flames on a plane, both examples of why we as purchasers and users of technology should be careful and check their devices when recalls such as these are announced.

Amazon Recalls Fire 7 Inch UK Power Adapters

When purchasing any electronic device, it’s imperative to use official AC adapters which meet the necessary safety standards and ensures your device is protected against surges. It can be really tempting to acquire a third-party charger from eBay due to the enticing price, and you can convince yourself that they are of a similar quality. However, in many circumstances, these chargers do not meet safety standards and have fake markings. As a result, they can be dangerous to both the end-user and the device in question. Usually, the quality of construction is abysmal, and known to become a fire hazard. To be clear, this isn’t every third-party charger from eBay I’ve tested, but it’s accurate for the overwhelming majority.

Every so often, even official chargers can experience problems due to an error in the production line. It’s incredible difficult to keep a close eye on the supply line, and one mistake can lead to catastrophic consequences. Today, Amazon sent an email to customers informing them of a product recall on the official charger for the Fire 7″ tablet, and Fire Kids Edition 7″ model. Here is the e-mail in full courtesy of HotUKDeals:

Thankfully, Amazon has adopted a transparent approach and taken the correct steps to put customer safety first. This is a fairly worrying development, but it’s important to remember that the cases will be rare. Despite this, if you have one of these chargers, please go through Amazon’s procedure to acquire a replacement.  This is happening more frequently and there’s been quite a lot of product recalls in the past 12 months. This ranges from food to consumer electronics. Perhaps, there’s a few teething issues in the production line which explains why some chargers could create an electrical shock! I applaud Amazon for sorting this out quickly and giving two options in case their official charger goes out of stock.

Apple Recalls Two-Prong Adapter Over Shock Concerns

Nevermind VR or high-tech PC gear, it seems like power adapters and their cables are the hardest things for companies to do right. This is the case with Apple who has started voluntarily recalling their two prong AC power adapters from Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Argentina and Brazil. According to Apple, the defective Mac and iOS power plug may break and have the potential to cause electric shock; adapters from 2003-2015 are effected.

Luckily users of the Type-A and Type-G adapters are not affected. This means users areas like North America, UK and Japan won’t have to worry about their adapters shocking them. Affected users will have their adapters replaced free of charge. In order to determine if a unit is a defective model, the inside slot of the adapter will either have a 4 or 5 digit code or no code at all. Redesigned and unaffected models will have a region code (e.g. EUR) there instead.

In order to not get shocked, it is probably best to get and defective adapters replaced as quickly as possible. This snafu comes after Microsoft launched their own recall for defective Surface Pro AC cables. For more detailed instructions, check out Apple’s page here.

Microsoft is Recalling Surface Pro Power Cables Due to Overheating Concerns

Microsoft’s Surface Pro range offers superb flexibility due to detachable keyboard, integrated stand and responsive touch screen display. These type of devices are becoming more popular and could theoretically replace traditional laptops. Microsoft’s early vision for the original Surface didn’t go as planned and had pretty severe restrictions due to Windows RT. Thankfully, Microsoft implemented in their pro line-up full Windows integration and support for Win32 applications. The only real downside to take into consideration is the price, which can exceed £1000 for certain configurations. Clearly, this is a costly endeavour but Microsoft appears to be targeting the Surface line at professionals requiring excellent build quality and a high specification.

However, in a statement issued to ZDNet, it appears the Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 sold before July 2015 have been encountering overheating problems with the included AC adapter. Microsoft’s official findings reads:

“As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly.”

This isn’t going to do Microsoft any favours and raises questions about their ability to produce durable hardware. On the other hand, at least they have openly admitted the technical problems and preparing replacements for all affected customers. It’s still unknown when the replacement service will begin but I wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft started the RMA process in the next few days. The advent of ultra cheap chargers from online auction sites can be tempting, but a large amount of these haven’t been approved and can pose, in extreme circumstances, a fire risk. Always spend a little bit extra and buy an official charger.

What do you think of the Surface Pro range?

EKWB Issues Full Recall of Predator 240 and 360 AIO Coolers

If you purchased one of EKWB’s Predator 240 or 360 all-in-one liquid coolers, then you should read this. EKWB has issued a full recall of all EK-XLC Predator 240 and 360 pre-filled and pre-assembled all-in-one (AIO) CPU liquid cooling units due to a potential risk of leakage of liquid from the unit. Affected are all Revision 1.0 models of both the 240mm and 360mm version with the EAN-codes 3831109863343 and 3831109863350.

At first it was estimated as a limited risk situation where only a single batch of units were affected and could develop leakage over time, it quickly turned out to be a more widespread problem and that is why EKWB issued a full recall. The good news in all of this is that a new and fixed version is ready, any revision 1.0 product will be replaced or refunded, and EKWB even covers damage to other parts that resulted from a leaking Predator AIO.

EKWB first identified the issue as a faulty O-ring in the EK-Supremacy MX CPU water block that was used in the unit. At first, it was thought that it only affected the November batch of O-rings, as pre-orders and early testers hadn’t reported any issues. That quickly changed and EKWB found the problem to affect all units. The leakage may occur between the copper cold plate and bracket on the water block after it is heated up and pressure rises. Current statistics show that 1 out of 10 units leaks.

If you currently use one of these units, then you are strongly recommended to stop doing so. EKWB has redesigned and released a new version of EK-XLC Predator (Revision 1.1) on the 4th of January 2016 that prevents any leakage under normal working modes. For the full details on refund or exchange, please visit EKWB’s official note about this issue. You’ll also find contact email addresses and phone numbers for both EU and US customers.

Errors in productions are something that can happen to anyone at any time, what is important is how you handle the aftermath. EKWB has shown a prime example of how it is done. They are taking full responsibility for it and giving their customers multiple fix options from a refund to replacement units. No secrets but full disclosure all the way through. Well done EKWB, it might cost you some money to fix the issue right now, but you’ll win some loyal customers with it.

IMAX Try to Censor Ars Technica Article

Last week, the popular website, Ars Technica posted a story about the latest version of Steams VR solution. For us tech enthusiasts, it provided some good news, but according to Ars post today, they seemed to get some pushback from the article.

They state in the latest post that Imax contacted them on the 16th. They said that the story that Ars had released needed retracting because it included a reference to Imax without their permission. 

The above letter is what was sent to the news website, pretty surprising when you read it. It looks to me that Imax reacted unnecessarily against such a trivial comment.

The reference made was from a game designer for Machkovtech, Alex Schwartz. He predicted that SteamVR could seriously appeal to people despite the fact the system takes up a lot of space.

“It’s like saying, ‘I have an IMAX theater in my house,'” he told Machkovech. “It’s so much better that we can get away with a cumbersome setup.”

Amusingly Imax clearly didn’t like the compliment.

This letter is part of a trend, Ars stated in the article. Apparently more and more companies are starting to believe that if owning a trademark then they can control any speech about it. Ars also say that Imax have taken it to the next level believing it is entitled to literally silence someone speaking to a journalist because the name of a corporation happened to slip out of his mouth.

Thank you to Ars Technica for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of AudioVideoInteriors

Saints Row IV Being Pulled From Australian Stores

Copies of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected are being recalled across Australia. But don’t worry – it’s not another ban. The game’s distributor, Deep Silver, has made what it calls a “serious manufacturing error” – in other words, the game was released with the wrong classification, and we all know how militant Australia is over age certification of games – and all affected copies need to be pulled from stores.

Deep Silver has released the following statement:

Unfortunately over the weekend, it has come to light that the PlayStation 4 retail release of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected has a serious manufacturing issue and a nationwide recall is now underway in Australia.

A manufacturing issue has caused an incorrectly classified version of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected for our territory to be released. This strictly affects PlayStation 4 retail versions.

All customers who have purchased the PlayStation 4 version of Saints Row IV: Re-Elected are encouraged to return to their retailer for a full refund.

Replacement copies with the correct content are on order and will arrive with retailers soon.

Saints Row IV was initially refused classification in Australia on first submission, but after some violent and sexual content was cut it was given a classification of MA15+. The recalled release also had an MA15+ classification, which suggests the version on the disk was the one that was previously banned.

If any Australians want a proper, unedited copy of Saints Row IV, they should get to their nearest store before it’s pulled from shelves.

Source: Kotaku

HP Recalls over 6 Million AC Power Cords

Hewlett-Packard is recalling about 6 million notebook and laptop AC power because of possible overheating, which again can pose a burn and fire risk. HP has received 29 reports of power cords overheating and melting or charring, resulting in two claims of minor burns and 13 claims of minor property damage.

The Hewlett-Packard LS-15 AC power cords were distributed with HP and Compaq notebook and mini notebook computers as well as AC adapter-powered accessories including docking stations. The power cords are black and have an “LS-15” molded on the AC adapter end of the cord and were manufactured in China.

The notebook and mini-notebook computers and accessories were sold with the AC power cords at computer and electronics stores, authorized dealers and online at www.hp.com from September 2010 to June 2012. Consumers are advised to immediately stop using and unplug the recalled power cords and contact Hewlett-Packard to order a free replacement. There is no risk in continuing to use any other parts.

Hewlett-Packard can be reached by phone during business hours or online at www.hp.com and then click “Recalls” at the bottom of the page.

Thank you laptopmag for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of HP.

Johnson Outdoors Recalls Wristwatch-Style Dive Computers

On Tuesday the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said that Johnson Outdoors Diving is recalling wristwatch-style dive computers because they can leak and stop working, creating a very real risk to divers.

The in El Cajon, California based company is recalling its Scubapro Aladin 2 wrist dive computer which monitors depth, dive time, decompression status and temperature, the commission said in a statement.

The company, a unit of Johnson Outdoors Inc, has already received four reports that the dive computers leaked and stopped working. The device’s failure can pose a risk of injury through decompression sickness. No injuries have been reported so far. The company sold about 350 computers in the United States and about 40 in Canada, the statement said.

The devices were sold at Scubapro dealers from March 2014 through June 2014 for about $450 and were manufacturer in Indonesia.

Thank you Reuters for providing us with this information

Images courtesy of Scubapro

Sony Recalling VAIO Flip Laptops: Immediate Fire and Burn Hazard

Sony has issued a product recall of thousands of VAIO “Fit 11a/ Flip” notebooks sold in the USA between February and April of this year. The issues with the product’s bearing the model number SVF11N13CXS are that the batteries used are dangerous. The Panasonic manufactured lithium-ion batteries can overheat and cause fire or burn hazards to users. As of making the announcement no injuries have been reported from the four incidents which have occurred. All four incidents occurred in Asia and overheating baterries led to “units smoking, catching fire and melting”.  Owners of SVF11N13CXS model number VAIO flip notebooks are advised to immediately stop using their devices, check ifn they need to be returned and then contact sony for a repair or full refund.

More details are provided by Sony on their esupport website here.

Images courtesy of Sony

Apple Recalls European iPhone Chargers Due to Overheating Issues

A new announcement from Apple has come to light informing user with European 5W iPhone chargers to check to model number of their charger in and in a large number of case to then to a replacement program that has been setup after it was discovered that a number of chargers with the model number A1300 were overheating, posing a huge safety risk to its user(s).

The adaptor in question was shipped predominantly between October 2009 and September 2012 with the iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4 and the iPhone 4S and additionally on its own as an accessory. Given the huge area the uses the European 2-pin plug, the number of chargers that Apple are referring to is in the hundreds of thousands, if not millions.

The replacement program which Apple have set up, asks users to look on the mains end of the plug and to check the details of the part they have. The faulty plugs are identified by a block grey ‘CE’ marking and above the right hand pin, the model number A1300 is printed. Users that have anything other than A1300 are not affected. Once confirmed, users should head to their nearest Apple store of authorised service center, where they can exchange their charger for free. Those who are unable to get to a store can contact technical support where a replacement can be arranged. In both instances the serial number of the corresponding iPhone is required for verification of the charger.

This latest discovery adds yet another part to the growing list of recalls and replacement programs that Apple have had to set up, so whilst it is all and well jumping on to the Apple bandwagon, on the greater scale, their track record for faulty products doesn’t quite sway in their favour.

Source: The Verge

Panasonic Recall Laptop & Tablet Batteries – Over 43,000 Units Affected

Toughbook manufacturer Panasonic has announced that they are in the process of recalling over 43,00 batteries from their Toughbook laptop and tablet ranges after three batteries in Asia malfunctioned and caught fire. The batteries in question are found in products purchased in the period of June 2011 to May 2012 and are Panasonic branded. Built for the CF-H2 tablets, the batteries in question have been found to overheat in some instances, resulting in some catching fire – a major safety risk for users where burns are a high risk.

The main bulk of these batteries are reportedly found in Asia, whilst a smaller number of units are found around Europe and the rest of the world. To prevent the risk of overheating, Panasonic are urging users to remove the battery from their tablet and run it through mains power until a replacement part is shipped out – free of charge.

The model numbers that are affected are as follows:

  • B6NA
  • B6YA
  • B71A
  • B74A
  • B75A
  • B76A
  • B7CA
  • B7VA
  • B83A
  • BBGA
  • BBJA
  • BBWA
  • Battery model number CF-VZSU53AW is also affected.

In addition to the recall on the CF-H2 tablets, a second recall is also being made on batteries that are found within the CF-S10 and CF-N10 laptop ranges. In this instance, the batteries in question are found within products shipped in the period April 2011 to October 2011. The batteries here are said to suffer from the same fault found in the tablet batteries and once again users should remove the parts as soon as possible, leaving the laptops to run from mains power until a replacement part has been shipped.

In all cases users should contact Panasonic support to report their device is one of those affected and replacement part will be arranged.

Source: BBC News

Spiders Webs Spark A Recall On 870,000 Toyotas

Toyota are making a recall on a number of vehicles from their 2012 and 2013 ranges due to a problem with a component in the air conditioning system that could lead to airbags deploying in the worst case.

As many as 870,000 Toyota Avalons, Camrys and Venzas are affected and includes all models of these vehicles including hybrid versions. Believe it or not though, the problem in some cases has been caused by a spider making itself at home inside on the of the drainage tubes that come from the air conditioning condenser units.

As the webs are made, they can lead to a blockage that in turn causes the condensed water to flow in a direction that was otherwise not intended and drip onto the module that controls the airbags and cause a short-circuit inside.

In most cases, this has led to a warning light coming up on the dashboard of the vehicle, however there have been instances where the power steering system has failed, or as seen in at least three cases, the driver side airbag has deployed without warning.

Toyota have stated that in the 35 cases of warning lights coming up on the dash, there was a consistent discovery of spiders webs however they have not stated if this is the direct cause for each incident.

As part of the recall, Toyota will make a modification to the drainage tube in question to prevent it from dripping on to the airbag module and owners of affected vehicles will be notified via post to take their vehicle to their nearest dealer where the works will be carried out free of charge.

Source: CNN

Image Courtesy of Toyota

Apple Product Recall On MacBook Air Flash Storage

Apple have announced a product recall on flash drives that have been installed into their ever popular MacBook Air Ultrabooks. More specifically, the systems that may have affected drives were sold between June 2012 through to June 2013, so for anyone with the latest generations of Air need not worry about any problems.

The systems in question will have either a 64GB or 128GB of flash storage on-board so this issue does only affect a limited number of systems, Apple have released information on how to check to see if your MacBook is affected and instructions on what to do if you do find out that your drive is one of those in question.

Apple have advised that users head over to the MacStore, click on Updates and download the MacBook Air Flash Storage Firmware Update 1.1 and this will check to see if the drive is one of those affected. Users with affected drives will be promoted during the update that their drive needs to be recalled and Apple have given guidelines on what to do in this situation.

 

Replacement Process

If your MacBook Air has an affected flash drive, please contact one of the Apple service providers below to schedule an appointment to get your drive replaced:

  • Apple Retail Store – Set up an appointment with a Genius.
  • Apple Authorized Service Provider – Find one here.
  • Apple Technical Support – Contact us for local service options.

Before you bring your MacBook Air in for service, please back up your data. Learn more about backup options.

 

Whilst Apple are regarded for having some of the most reliable hardware available to buy, following the recent debates over why users have to pay the privilege of owning an Apple product, this recall is less a fault of Apple in all fairness , but one of the storage vendor.

If you have one of the affected drives, give us your thoughts on the recall below.

Source: Apple

Image Courtesy: Macrumours