Nokia Cell Phone Chargers Recalled

Nokia just announced a massive recall of millions of <"">defective cell phone chargers due to a potential shock hazard, Network World reported. The recall program involves Nokia replacing the chargers at no cost to consumers; affected consumers are in the United States and Canada as well as other countries worldwide said Network World.

According to the cell phone giant, the Nokia-branded chargers were made by BYD Electronic Company, a third-party supplier, said Network World. BYD is located in China.

Nokia explained that the charger’s plastic casing could come apart, which would expose the chargers internal elements, posing a potential shock hazard, Network World reported. The fault, which was found during a normal quality inspection, has not—to date—resulted in any incidents or accidents, according to Network World.

Network World wrote that three chargers were affected by the recall, as follows:

Model number AC-3E manufactured between June 15, 2009 and August 9, 2009
Model number AC-3U manufactured between June 15, 2009 and August 9, 2009
Model number AC-4U manufactured between April 13, 2009 and October 25, 2009

To determine if a charger is involved, said Network World, check the label that indicates the charger’s voltage and manufacturing information. That label should indicate the model number, manufacturer name, and identification number—comprised of a long series of numbers. Nokia has set up a dedicated Charger Exchange Website at At that site, enter the charger’s model and identification numbers and follow the steps to exchange the charger. Nokia recommends that if the model number matches, to immediately stop using the charger. If there is a question regarding the charger, Nokia can be contacted directly, toll-free, at 1-888-Nokia2U.

Network World noted that this is not the first time Nokia has experienced a major product issue that concerned a third-party distributor. In 2007, Nokia released an advisory for “potentially faulty batteries,” that were manufactured by the Matsushita Battery Industrial Company Limited when it was found that the batteries could overheat. Nokia did not issue a recall but did agree to replace some 46 million batteries, at consumer request.

Although Nokia did not release the number of chargers affected in the current recall, Network World said that London’s Times said that about 14 million chargers could be impacted.

According to Reuters, shares dropped over four percent due to the charger recall and Credit Suisse indicated that the recall could adversely affect BYD Electronic’s standing and downgraded the stock from “neutral” to “underperform.” BYD Electronic is the battery manufacturing division of BYD Company. BYD will assume the cost of the recall, said Reuters.

As we mentioned, the recalled Nokia chargers were manufactured in China. Of note, defective imports from China have been making headlines in recent years; this massive charger recall is another of many such issues on which we have been writing. In 2008, nearly 80 percent of all product recalls in the United States involved imports from China. Products such as dog food, baby formula, toys with lead paint, and even pharmaceuticals like heparin have been found to have been made with toxic materials and other counterfeit ingredients that have long been putting United States consumers at significant risk. Also making news is the ongoing Chinese drywall disaster involving imports from that country.

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