Xbox power cord can be a fire hazard

Microsoft is recalling the power cords on 14.1 million Xbox game consoles because the cords may pose a fire hazard.

Microsoft is recalling the power cords on 14.1 million Xbox game consoles worldwide because the cords may pose a fire hazard, the company said Thursday.

An electrical component failure can cause the Xbox cord to overheat and emit smoke. In 30 consoles worldwide, the problem caused minor injury or property damage. In seven instances, users reported a burn to their hands. In 23 instances, customers reported smoke damage or damage to a carpet or entertainment center, Microsoft said in a statement.

The physical injuries were reported in the U.S., Canada and the U.K., a Microsoft spokesman said. In all cases where damage was reported, Microsoft worked with the customer and resolved their claim, the spokesman said.

Fewer than one in 10,000 consoles have experienced these component failures and in most instances damage caused was contained within the console itself or limited to the tip of the power cord at the back of the console, Microsoft said in the statement.

The recall affects the majority of Xbox consoles sold. As of December 31, Microsoft sold 19.9 million consoles worldwide, 13.2 million of which were in North America, 5.0 million in Europe and 1.7 million in the Japan and Asia Pacific region, according to Microsoft.

The replacement power cords should protect consumers and their Xbox consoles from the component failure. Gamers outside continental Europe with an Xbox manufactured before October 23, 2003, require a replacement cord. In Europe, owners of Xbox consoles built before January 13, 2004, need a new cord, the company said.

To check if a new cord is needed and to order one, Xbox users can go to the Microsoft Xbox Web site (http://www.xbox.com/). Replacement cords will arrive two to four weeks after the order is placed. While waiting for the new cord, Microsoft advises users to turn off their consoles when not in use.

Xbox users without Internet access should call their local Microsoft office.

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Joris Evers

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