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11 of The Biggest Tech Recalls


In light of the recent recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 smartphones, CNBC has compiled a list of 11 of the biggest tech recalls ever. Surprisingly, 10 of the 11 recalls dealt with significant safety and injury hazards, such as fires, shock injuries, and burns, rather than simple product failures.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Recall

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was recalled this month due to exploding batteries reported. This could have an impact of $900 million to the company’s third-quarter operating profit.

Dell Laptop Sony Batteries Recall

In 2006, Dell recalled 4.1 million notebook computer batteries because of the risk of catching fire. The batteries were made by Sony and represented around 15 percent of batteries that the company sold from mid-2004 to 2006. According to a Dell spokesman at the time, a short circuit could cause the battery to overheat and cause smoke or fire. Dell offered free replacements.

Google Nest Smoke Detector Recall

In April 2014, Google Nest issued a recall for 440,000 smoke detectors because users could unintentionally turn off the smoke detector. This would be very dangerous in a case where there was smoke or a fire. The company released a software update to fix the problem.

Apple AC Wall Plug Adapter Recall

Apple announced at the beginning of 2016 a recall for some of its power adapters sold with several of its products since 2003 because there was a risk of electrical shock. This announcement referred to issues with two-pronged power adapters that are used for Europe, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Argentina, and Brazil. Customers were allowed to exchange their adapters at a local store or request a replacement online.

Hoverboard Recall

Hoverboards, which are two-wheeled self-balancing scooters, were recalled after reports of the boards catching fire. In 2015, these gadgets were one of the biggest fads. At the end of last year, many U.K. retailers recalled thousands of the devices, and this year the U.S. firms followed and recalled over 500,000 hoverboards.

McDonald’s Fitness Tracker Recall

The fitness tracker was released in August 2016 in Happy Meals by McDonald’s. The U.S. Consumer Product Commission reported that McDonald’s recalled 32.6 million trackers due to a risk of causing skin irritation or burns. The CPSC mentioned that there had been over 70 skin irritation complaints and 7 cases of blistering. McDonald’s said that it would stop putting the Step-it Device in Happy Meals for children.

Amazon Fire Tablets Recall

Early 2016, Amazon recalled the power adapter on some models of its Fire tablets in the U.K. because of a risk for electrical shock. The recalled 7-inch Fire and Fire Kids Edition Tablets were sold since September 2015.

Intel Basis Fitness Smartwatches Recall

In August this year, Intel recalled its Basis Peak fitness smartwatches due to risk of overheating and burning or blistering the skin. The U.S. technology firm told customers to stop using the Basis Peak and return it immediately. Intel stated that users will only be able to access their data until December 31, 2016 because after that date, the services will be turned off.

Microsoft Xbox 360 Warranty Extended

In 2007, there were many reports that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 console had a problem known as “red ring of death.” The system would completely shut down and could not be operated while there was a red light on the front panel. Microsoft extended their warranty for the Xbox 360 due to this issue to three years. This meant that users could return the console to be repaired during this timeframe. The warranty also applied to consoles bought in November 2005 whenever the Xbox 360 was first launched. This issue cost Microsoft $1 billion.

Microsoft Surface Pro Chargers Recall

Microsoft recalled the chargers for its Surface Pro 2-in-1 tablets due to 56 reports of the cords overheating and catching fire and 5 reports of electrical shock. The recall affected all Surface Pro, Pro 2, and Pro 3 power cords sold before March 15, 2015. This recall was only for the removable cord that connects the power supply to the plug socket. The power brick that attaches into the Surface device was not affected at all. Microsoft replaced the cords for free.

Apple’s Beat’s Pill XL Speaker Recall

Apple’s Beat’s Pill XL speakers were recalled due to the battery overheating, which poses for a fire safety risk. The U.S. technology giant issued a recall on the Bluetooth speaker in 2015. Customers were offered $325 in store credit or electronic payment.

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