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Amazon calls back Fire chargers amid safety fears

Thu 3 Mar 2016

Amazon has this week issued an urgent UK and Ireland recall on all power adapters for its best-selling 7-inch Fire tablet, and Fire Kids Edition, sold since September 2015, because of concerns that the charging devices can cause electric shocks.

Contacted via email, the company has asked its customers to immediately stop using the FABK7B adapters, and use another charger to power their gadgets, or a USB cable attached to a PC while they wait for a replacement. Amazon is offering a free exchange for users to replace their faulty adapters online, or a £12 credit note on their account instead.

“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,” the web giant explained. It added that power adapters for the Fire HD and Fire HDX models, as well as hardware sold outside of the UK, are not affected by the problem and should be in safe working order.

A spokesperson continued: “This issue affects power adapters, not tablets. We wanted to proactively reach out to customers out of an abundance of caution.”

The company has informed the UK’s Trading Standards office about the issue.

Amazon’s move follows a series of similar steps taken by tech giants to protect the safety of their customers. In January, Apple recalled its two-prong wall plug adapter amid concerns that the charger could break and create a risk of electric shock if touched. A month later, Microsoft actioned a call-back for Surface Pro device power cords, which risked damage including cracking, fraying and bulging, causing a safety hazard.

In December last year, EE also suffered a safety scare when reports appeared of its Power Bar phone chargers overheating and exploding. The British mobile network asked customers to return the kit to a store, where they received a £20 retail voucher as compensation.


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