Surface Pro Power Cords to be Recalled Due to Overheating Concerns

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Anyone who uses technology knows that devices put off heat. Sometimes the amount of heat being generated can’t be dissipated quickly enough and the temperature reaches concerning–possibly dangerous temperatures. In response to reports that some Surface Pro power cords are overheating, Microsoft plans to issue a recall:

Batteries and power supplies generate heat. It’s a simple matter of physics. However, some generate too much heat—possibly enough to cause injury or start a fire. Apparently, a number of power cords from earlier Surface Pro models are subject to excessive overheating, and Microsoft will initiate a recall program later this week.

A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed via email to ZDNet, “As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly.”

How shortly? It seems that we should learn more by this Friday according to a report from Channelnomics Europe. The report claims that Microsoft will issue a statement at 6am Pacific time on Friday, announcing a voluntary recall of power supplies for the Surface Pro, Surface pro 2, and Surface Pro 3 models. The recall will supposedly apply to all Surface Pro devices sold before July of 2015.

Bear in mind that the Microsoft statement specifies that the issue is caused by power cords that are wound too tightly, or pinched or twisted over extended periods of time. This is not a new phenomenon and it is not unique to Microsoft or the Surface Pro line. It’s true for all power cords.

In December of 2013 there was some controversy over the proper way to wrap a MacBook power cord. Devices like the MacBook and the Surface Pro are designed to be exceptionally portable, so owners of those devices also generally prefer to make the power brick and power cord as compact as possible for easy transport. The problem is that winding the power cord for maximum space conservation can also cause long-term damage.

Chris Apland, Product Manager for Gaming and Networking at Monoprice, explained in a Wired article, “When you roll up a cable against its natural shape it will fatigue the entire length of the cable and will twist in a direction perpendicular to the length of the cable.”

Read the full story on Forbes: Microsoft Plans Recall Of Surface Pro Power Cables.

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2 Comments

  1. People seem to be overlooking the fact that any electrical device will overheat if misused, and in each of these cases, the cord was damaged by the user. Forbes seemed quick to spin this as a manufacturing/design error in the headline, but bury the facts deep in the 4th paragraph

  2. I wrote the Forbes article, so I guess in this case I am “Forbes”.

    Paragraph 2 actually states the cause of the issue as cited by a Microsoft spokesperson. Paragraph 4 of the Forbes article simply restates that claim, and then goes on to provide more background on why that’s the case.

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