IBM recalls 117,000 dusty old monitors

Fire risk

cable

IBM has demanded the return of up to 117,000 monitors because they might catch fire.

It's taken IBM some time to admit there's a problem. The displays - the G51CRT and G51t Touch Screen CRT - were made more than five-and-a-half years ago. The last one was sold in December 1998. The units were manufactured for IBM in Malaysia and China by LiteOn Technology International. LiteOn produced over 700,000 screens for IBM between 1997 and 1999.

Since 2001, IBM has received five complaints about monitors overheating or smoking. One report cited "minor property damage". Fortunately, no one has been hurt.

All the screens are 15in models, long since replaced by larger models. Given their age, we wonder how many are still in use, having long passed business' three-year write-down period. Not all of the monitors will have been sold to businesses, however - many were sold through the likes of Best Buy, CompUSA, OfficeMax and Radio Shack, so individuals may be at risk too.

IBM's web site has details of the monitors the company is recalling. The page explains how you can identify if your monitor is one of those affected.

If it is, IBM will repair the unit, replacing the motherboard compenent that might overheat, though many owners may relish the excuse to upgrade their grimy, aging 15in jobs to larger, modern displays. ®