Smoke on the monitor

IBM Corp. is voluntarily recalling about 56,000 monitors that have the potential to catch fire due to a faulty component on the monitors’ circuit board, the company recently announced, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission.

The 15-inch IBM G51 CRT (cathode-ray tube) monitor and the 15-inch G51t touch-screen CRT monitors assembled between June 1997 and September 1997 are affected by the recall. Users can check the rear information labels of their G51 monitors for the model numbers 6541-02N, 6541-02E or 6541-02S and the dates of manufacture to determine if they should stop using the monitor.

The model numbers of recalled G51t monitors are 6541-Q0N, 6541-Q0E, or 6541-Q0S, but IBM urged all users of G51t monitors to contact IBM.

A component on the monitor’s circuit board can overheat under certain conditions and produce smoke, creating a potential fire hazard, IBM said. The company has received five reports worldwide of problems involving smoke or fire with the monitors, but no injuries have been reported.

IBM sold the G51 monitor at retail for about US$370 from June 1997 through 1998, it said. All G51t monitors and some G51 models were sold through commercial accounts, the Armonk, N.Y.-based company said. A total of 117,000 monitors that might have included the bad component were sold worldwide, IBM said.

Users affected by the recall should call IBM to arrange for IBM to send them a prepaid shipping box to return the monitor to IBM, which will determine if a free repair is required, and ship the monitor back to the user. A list of telephone numbers for repair centres in countries outside the U.S., and more information, can be found at www.ibm.com/pc/g51recall.