Lenovo is recalling about 500,000 AC power cords for its B, G, and V-series laptops and IdeaPads – after 15 cases were reported of the cables overheating, sparking, melting and burning.
"Only the AC Power Line Cord is being recalled," Lenovo said on its global recall website.
"The Adapter that connects to the computer is not being recalled. Do not discard the adapter. Lenovo apologizes for the inconvenience caused by this issue. Shipment of quality products always has been and continues to be the foremost concern."
The power cords were sold between February 2011 and June 2012, and are easy to identify. They are black and have LS-15 printed on the head. Lenovo's website also has a serial number checker for identification.
So far there have been no reports of the power cables burning up in the US, but 15 cases have been logged in Asia, with no injuries. The cause of the problem is dodgy insulation in the power cord itself which degrades over time and allows the cables to overheat.
The recall is a reminder of just how interconnected everything is in the IT supply industry these days. Computer companies don’t make that many of their own components any more – certainly for stuff as mundane as power cords – so a single supplier will service many vendors.
While that's more efficient economically for the PC giants, it does mean that when the supplier is at home to Mr Cockup then the effects are felt by many more people, as we saw earlier in the year when Lenovo, Sony, and Panasonic shared a batch of dodgy laptop batteries.
Lenovo users with dodgy power cables can mail them back to the company and will receive a free replacement within seven to 10 working days. ®