Brother recalls printer line for repairs

Printer vendor Brother has recalled a series of printers in the US and Canada and will pay its authorised services partners in Australia to replace the faulty part in the machines of any Australian customers.

The recall applies to five different model numbers of Brother's HL1000 series printers due to a US scare where one of the printer models was found to contain faults that caused the unit to catch on fire. The vendor has found that the fixing unit, a component that creates heat to adhere the print to the paper, could catch alight on those US models that contained higher amperage (100 volts).

Consequently, Brother's engineers in Japan tested the product and thought it in the best interests of US and Canadian customers to recall the product, according to Brother Australia spokesperson Tom Frayer.

"A good number of these units were sold in Europe, but we have had no instances either there or in Australia/New Zealand of the printers catching alight," he said. "We have recalled the product in the US and Canada, but as a safety precaution we will also replace the part for any of our other customers around the globe."

Marketed during the mid-to-late nineties, the business line printers were particularly popular in the US and Europe, but Frayer said the vendor would not disclose how many units it actually sold in Australia for "competitive reasons". However, he did state that "relatively few" were sold here compared to overseas.

The vendor has now begun searching through its end-user records in an effort to inform its customers and channel partners of the recall. Authorised services partners will be contracted to replace the fixing unit on any HL1000 series machine for the customer free of charge.

Brother has also been in discussions with the Federal Government's Department of Consumer Affairs over the issue. "Although they advised us that the Department cannot officially endorse or disapprove any approach we suggest, they certainly feel that we are taking a reasonable approach," Frayer said.

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