Compaq Computer Corp. is recalling about 594,000 power adapters and cords used with certain notebook computers sold in the United States because they can overheat and cause fires, the Associated Press has reported.

Though a Compaq spokeswoman said it was unclear how many of the company’s school customers might be affected by the recall, some of the adapters in question were sold with notebook computer models marketed to schools, including the Armada 110.

Houston-based Compaq has received five reports of fires linked to the AC adapter cases, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Oct. 4. No injuries were reported.

The recall, part of a worldwide recall of more than 1.4 million AC adapters, involves adapters with the model series number “PPP003SD,” “PPP003,” and “PP2012.” The number is located directly under “Compaq Computer Corporation” on the AC adapter label.

The AC adapters were sold individually and with the following notebook computers: Armada M300, Armada 3500, Armada M700, Armada E500s, Armada E500, Armada V300, Armada 100s, Armada 110, Notebook 100, Prosignia 170, and Prosignia 190.

“If a school has this particular adapter, [school administrators] should just go ahead and ask for a new one,” said Compaq spokeswoman Barbara Crystal.

Compaq distributors sold computers with these AC adapters and the individual adapters themselves from September 1998 through July 2001. The computers with these adapters sold for between $999 and $4,399, and the individual adapters sold for between $65 and $98.

This recall and replacement program affects only the AC adapters described above, not the notebook computers themselves.

“This is not the only AC adapter Compaq uses, so not every adapter for our computers is affected,” Crystal said.

The safety commission said consumers should stop using the recalled AC adapter and power cord and contact Compaq to order free replacements.

“Only five failures were reported out of 1.4 million adapters, so I don’t think it has a large impact—but we are also making it easy to get a replacement,” Crystal said.

For more information, consumers can call Compaq toll-free at 1-888-302-7689 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday. Replacements also can be ordered and tracked online at Compaq’s AC Adapter Replacement Program web page.

In July, Apple Computer recalled 570,000 AC adapters after the company received six reports that they overheated. Last spring, Dell Computer Corp. recalled about 284,000 laptop batteries because they could overheat and catch fire.

Links:

Consumer Product Safety Commission
http://www.cpsc.gov

Compaq Computer Corp.
http://www.compaq.com

Compaq’s AC Adapter Replacement Program web page
http://compaq.com/products/notebooks/adapt errecall