Consumer electronics vendor, Sharp, has voluntarily recalled several models of its 42-inch LCD televisions after finding a fault with a small piece of foam shielding.
Customers who purchased Sharp 42-inch LCD televisions with the model numbers LC42BX5X, LC42GD7X and LC42PD7X; and with serial numbers commencing 610700001 to 705799999 inclusive; are asked to contact the manufacturer.
(The model and serial number can be found at the rear of the unit printed on an identification plate. If a green dot is found on the identification plate, the set has already been inspected and corrected and there is no need for further action.)
Sharp deputy managing director, Denis Kerr, told ARN there were about 2000 affected units sold in A/NZ between February and May this year. He stressed that there were no consumer reports of damage or over-heating in affected models.
"We discovered the potential for a fault as part of our routine quality inspection of incoming shipments," he said.
Kerr explained the company inspected 10 per cent of any given model of television as they arrive in Australia. The affected series of televisions began shipping in February, but the fault wasn't noted until the inspection of a latter shipment.
The offending part - a 1-inch square piece of foam shielding which protects the television set from interference with other consumer electronic devices- was held on to the set by a piece of double-sided tape.
"Like the double-sided tape you use in your home, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't," Kerr said. "For whatever reason - perhaps the humidity when the foam was applied - it hasn't sealed correctly.
"Immediately, we told our dealers to freeze the selling of stock and went from inspecting 10 per cent to inspecting 100 per cent."
The vendor flew in three engineers from Japan to simulate what might occur if the piece of foam came unstuck, warped in shape and found its way into the high voltage area of the television set.
While the foam itself was fire retardant, Kerr said that in the "one in a million" chance it would fall into this area, it could potentially create voltage between the power board and the frame and blow the power board.
Sharp's service centres will today be sent a mod-kit - basically a small plastic bracket/guard that serves to hold the foam firmly in place. Engineers from Sharp's Approved Service Centres will take these kits to the homes of affected consumers and apply the fix free of charge.
"As part of our community responsibility this voluntary action has been taken as a precautionary measure," Kerr said. "Sharp is determined to protect the integrity of its brand in the marketplace."
Sharp is the fourth CE vendor to recall models of its LCD televisions in as many months. Loewe, LG, and Samsung have all recalled models in recent weeks - but Kerr said it does not necessarily reflect poorly on the standards of manufacturers.
He claimed it was indicative of the stringent regulations that apply to selling electronics goods in Australia.
"That little bit of foam is only required in Australia and New Zealand," Kerr said. "Nonetheless its fair to say that we think its better to be over-regulated than under-regulated."
Consumers with affected sets can contact Sharp at www.sharp.net.au or call 1800 333 435 between 7am-7pm.