Microsoft recalls faulty Xbox cables

Online Poster

Online Poster

By Devon Sharma

Concern that Xbox power cables may pose fire hazards prompted Microsoft to announce on Feb. 17 that the company will be recalling the power cables for 14.1 million affected Xbox units.

The recall, which covers all Xboxes made before Oct. 23, 2003, came after reports that cables gave users minor burns and scorched some carpets.

Robbie Bach, chief Xbox officer for Microsoft, told Reuters that consoles made after that date are designed in a way that eliminates the problem.

Xbox owners can request a replacement power cable, free of charge, by going to the Xbox Web site ( or by calling Microsoft’s toll-free number, (866) 271-0450. The company stated that, until the replacement is made, users should turn their consoles off while not in use.

“This is a preventative step we’re choosing to take despite the rarity of these incidents,” Bach said in a press release.

According to the statement, fewer than one in 10,000 Xbox units experienced the component failure.

The statement added, “In almost all instances, any damage caused by these failures was contained within the console itself or limited to the tip of the power cord at the back of the console.”

However, the statement did say that Microsoft has received 30 reports of faulty cables causing minor injury or minor property damage. In seven of those instances, customers reported sustaining a minor burn to the hand. The other 23 reports involved smoke damage, or minor damage to a carpet or entertainment center.

Scott Fullman, senior in engineering, said he has already ordered a replacement power cord for his console from the Xbox Web site.

“My Xbox has never been faulty,” Fullman said. “But I wanted to make sure I got the new cord as a precautionary measure, just in case, because you never know if something might have happened.”

Fullman said that the Web site required a valid Xbox serial number to be entered, and that the replacement cable would be shipped to him free of charge.

Customers should expect the replacement cables to arrive 2-4 weeks after the order is placed, according to the Microsoft statement.