IBM has recalled some 553,000 ThinkPad notebook adaptors sold around the world after it was found they pose a potential fire hazard.
A spokeswoman for IBM Australia said that IBM had received six reports of certain 56W AC adaptors overheating, one each from Taiwan, Canada and the Philippines and three from the US.
"It's all adaptors that were shipped from [January] 1999 and [August] 2000," she said. "So we know how many products [pose a risk] but we don't know how many are still in service."
Most of the adaptors, made for IBM by Delta Electronics, were believed to have been shipped with IBM ThinkPad i, 390, 240 and s series notebooks but the product was also sold separately.
The adaptors have three pins and the number 02K6549 on the label, IBM said.
Some 225,000 of the adaptors were sold in the US but none were shipped to Japan, IBM said.
She said that she would not reveal how many of the affected adaptors were sold in Australia. However, 56W adapters were no longer sold by IBM, she said.
No user injuries due to the "technical glitch" had been reported, she added.
"They're overheating. That's basically it. [The heat is] melting the adaptor case," she said.
IBM Australia was placing advertisements in the news media this week and sending letters to distributors and service providers, she said.
"We're also issuing letters to our distributors and giving them template letters for their customers," she said.
Customers -- including resellers -- should go to www.adapterprogram.com and enter the serial numbers of adaptors that may be affected. Customers with more than 50 of the adaptors should call IBM's helpdesk direct, she said.
IBM would replace affected adaptors free of charge. No other IBM adaptors were affected, IBM said.
"While awaiting a replacement adaptor from IBM, customers should unplug the adaptor from the wall electrical outlet when unattended. If an adaptor shows any sign of overheating, customers should immediately unplug the adaptor at the wall electrical outlet and notify IBM," the company said.
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