NEC is recalling about 170,000 monochrome laser printers, most of which were sold in Japan, because of an overheating problem that leads to a subsequent risk of fire.
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The company is recalling 11 printer models, mostly in its MultiWriter range, that were sold in Japan between 1997 and 2000. Around 440 printers sold by Hitachi during the period from 1999 to 2001 include the same part and are also subject to recall.
A number of the same printers were rebranded by an NEC customer and sold overseas. However those models, the names of which were not released, are not subject to a recall at present, said NEC spokeswoman Diane Foley.
An overheating problem has been identified in the printer's fixer unit, which is responsible for fixing toner to the paper, and that has prompted the recall.
NEC is advising customers to switch off the printers when not in use, such as overnight and over weekends, until the faulty part has been replaced.
Details of the printers affected and their serial numbers can be found online at NEC's website: www.express.nec.co.jp/care/prtechinfo/careinfo/index.html and at Hitachi's website: www.hitachi-printingsolutions.co.jp/topix/release/031204.html.
Martyn Williams writes for IDG News Service