Nokia recalls 14 million phone chargers

Nokia was forced to issue a recall of as many as 14 million mobile phone chargers that pose an electric shock issue, with anyone affected to be given a replacement charger for free.

“Dear Nokia customer, Noka has announced an exchange program for a limited number of Nokia-branded charges manufactured by a third party supplier,” a Nokia recall Web site indicates.

The No. 1 phone manufacturer said the plastic covers of the chargers can shake loose and fall off, which can expose “the charger’s internal components and potentially posing an electric shock hazard if certain internal components are touched while the charger is plugged into a live socket.”

Third-party supplier BYD, a Chinese-based company that manufacturers Nokia chargers, will eat the cost of the replacement program, though it’s unknown what the final monetary damages will be.

Specifically, BYD-manufactured the 2-pin chargers with the following model numbers should be investigated:  AC-3E, AC-3U, AC4U.  The AC-E3 and AC-3U models were manufactured from June 15 to August 9 2009, with the AC-4U model manufactured from April 13 to Oct. 25.

The following Nokia web site has specific details of the recalled products, and what phone owners can do to receive a new charger.  Anyone owning one of these faulty chargers is expected to visit the site or call Nokia at 1-888-NOKIA2U.

Although a manufacturer temporarily has egg on its face after incidents similar to this, there has been some concern among western consumers about the product quality assurance from Chinese-made products.  Several other high-profile recalls in the tech industry also were caused by products made in China, and although there have been some issues, companies continue to manufacture products overseas to help keep costs lower.