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Flood of Recalls Might Be Due to Poor Economy

Published: Monday, July 19, 2004 - 21:00

Economists and analysts speculate that a recent rash of recalled high technology products might be due to the poor economy.

In January, Kyocera Wireless recalled 140,000 of its cell phone batteries, citing concerns that they could overheat. In September, 6,000 Segway Human Transporters were recalled because of a flaw that could cause riders to fall. Because high-tech products are very complicated, occasional flaws are unavoidable. However, the recent rash of high-profile recalls might be due to the poor economy. Analyst Rob Enderle told USA Today that as companies conduct fierce price wars, they are often forced to cut quality corners, resulting in poor quality products reaching consumers.

Other recent tech recalls include:

  • Dell’s recall of 38,000 auto/air power adapters connecting laptops to power outlets in cars and planes. Users could get shocked if they plugged the wrong cord into the adapter.
  • Hewlett-Packard’s recall of the memory components in 900,000 laptops over a problem that can make them crash or lose data.
  • Verizon Wireless’ recall of 50,000 replacement cell phone batteries for LG phones that overheat and could burst.
  • Intel’s recall of early shipments of a new set of PC chip. The company won’t say how many chips are involved, but analysts estimate hundreds of thousands of chips are affected.


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