NEC desktops have caught fire in Japan

NEC is now offering to replace faulty power units that may cause a fire

Two NEC desktop computers in Japan have caught fire since late last year and NEC is now offering to replace faulty power units at the root of the problem.

The first Valuestar computer caught fire in October 2005 and the second in November this year, an NEC spokesperson, Akiko Shikimori, said. The culprit was a component within the power unit inside the computer. The component and the power unit were not manufactured by NEC but she could not reveal which company made them.

The power unit overheated and if the customer continued to use the desktop it could cause a fire, she said.

Nobody was injured in the two reported cases, she said.

NEC manufactured the computers between November 2003 and June 2004 and 14,600 are in use, mainly by consumers, in Japan. The company would exchange the faulty power unit for a new one for all users of the computers, she said.

Millions of laptop computer batteries, made by Sony, have recently been recalled due to a problem that could cause fires but that issue has been confined to laptops and battery power. Sony is replacing 9.6 million laptop computer batteries in a recall expected to cost it $US433 million.