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Amazon Recalls Power Adapter As Shock Hazard

Amazon has issued a recall for the plug-in power adapters that recharge the Kindle Fire 7 and Kids Edition because the assembly may break.

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Amazon has recalled the Fire 7 tablet's power adapter, including the Kids Edition, due to the danger of electrical shock. No customers are known to have experienced shocks, but Amazon is voluntarily making the recall in Ireland and the UK due to a potential danger.

The adapters plug into the wall, and there's a danger that the housing will come apart as they are pulled out of a wall plug. In the UK, household voltage is 220, double the 110-volt standard in US homes.

"We have determined that, in rare cases, when the power adapter included with the UK Fire 7-inch and UK Fire Kids Edition 7-inch tablet is pulled from the wall socket, the adapter assembly may detach and create a risk of electrical shock," a statement on Amazon's UK website said. The hazard is created by the internal parts of the adapter becoming exposed in such an event. If the plug were still inserted far enough in the socket, those parts could be carrying electricity and could be extremely hazardous if touched.

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Amazon supplied pictures of the defective part, the model number FAB7KB adapter, and said it was the only adapter affected. That model was sold only in the UK and Ireland from September 2015 on. Amazon urged customers to discontinue its use immediately and instead charge via USB cable from a PC or other device.

According to the company's statement, "Customer safety is our top priority, and we are proactively offering to replace these power adapters with a new adapter, free of charge. We encourage customers to exchange their original power adapters." Amazon then outlines the method.

Image from Amazon UK website for correcting the Adapter problem, with the model number circled in red.
(Image: Amazon)

Image from Amazon UK website for correcting the Adapter problem, with the model number circled in red.

(Image: Amazon)

"We encourage customers to exchange their original power adapters," the Amazon recall website states. Amazon tablets and Kindle readers sold outside the UK and Ireland were not affected by the recall.

Amazon is not the only company to have problems with power adapters this year. Microsoft earlier this year recalled the AC power cord with its wall plug for the Surface Pro, Pro 2, and Pro 3 tablets sold before July 15, 2015.

Apple in January recalled its two-prong iPad, iPod, Macintosh, and iPhone power adapters made between 2003 and 2015 and used in Europe, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, and South Korea. "Apple two-prong wall plug adapters may break and create a risk of electrical shock if touched," it warned. The company said it knew of 12 incidents in which the breakage had occurred.

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Ninja
3/6/2016 | 7:32:27 PM
Re: Who was the manufacturer of these adapter plugs?
this days I think all Co. using same manf. just slaping on top of the power adapters they own logos... this is why we hear about so many recalls on power adapters... - how I see it... 
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
3/3/2016 | 3:31:15 PM
Who was the manufacturer of these adapter plugs?
I have not seen Amazon, Apple or Microsoft name the manufacturer of the defective adapter plugs, adapter power cords. Do they have the same manufacturer? Seems strange they've all discovered the same defect at about the same time. Getting the answer to that question could raise additional questions.  
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