Monday, November 9, 2009

Nokia recalls 14m malfunctioning phone chargers

Nokia, the Finnish handset group, is replacing 14 million malfunctioning phone chargers after warning they could cause an electric shock.

The Finnish group said that it was replacing the chargers, made by BYD, a third-party Chinese supplier, as a "precautionary measure" and was not aware of any injuries.

It is the second recall in as many years for Nokia. In 2007, the company replaced 46 million batteries after components, supplied by Matsushita, the Japanese company, were found to overheat.

Nokia said BYD would cover all costs from today's replacement. A spokesman for BYD said: "During internal tests we found the chargers could have some problems."

Nokia said that the recall did not affect chargers brought in Britain, China, Brazil or Argentina.

Three Nokia models are affected — the AC-3E and AC-3U models, made between June 15 and August 9, 2009 and the AC-4U model, made between April 13 and October 25, which are sold around the globe.

Nokia said that their plastic covers could come loose and separate, exposing their internal components and "potentially posing an electrical shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket".

The group wrote on its blog that the problem "only applies to a restricted number of chargers manufactured over a short period available in a select number of countries".

The affected chargers, it said, may have been sold with a Nokia device or purchased separately.

Today's recall is one of the biggest in history. In 2006, Sony saw a sharp slide in its shares following major problems with its computer batteries and it was forced to recall nearly ten million of the product.

Dell, the world's largest PC manufacturer, recalled 4.1 million batteries after a string of incidents where faulty batteries made laptop computers burst into flames.

Apple Computer also recalled 1.8 million computer batteries manufactured by the Japanese group after reporting nine overheated batteries.

Nokia shares, quoted in Helsinki, rose 2.15 per cent to €9.03.

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