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Cisco recalls Ethernet switches over fault risk

A potential fault on a number of IE-5000 switches could give users a nasty shock, says supplier

Cisco has issued an urgent recall on a number of its Ethernet switches after discovering they may contain a highly dangerous fault.

In a support notice on its website, the company said it had found that potential damage to source wiring within the switches could cause a short circuit to the metal enclosure or barrier.

It said this posed an electrical and fire safety hazard for end-users, although the supplier said it had not observed the issue at any of its customer sites, rather on a single device that had not yet been shipped.

The issue arose during testing of this unit, said Cisco, which claimed the power harness cable appeared to have been damaged by a metallic baffle inside the device.

Because of the nature of the fault, it was very unlikely that any affected switches would power up to begin with, it said.

Nevertheless, Cisco has created a hardware upgrade programme to replace the units, which can be readily identified by entering their serial numbers online. The two lines affected are the IE-5000-12S12P-10G and IE-5000-16S12P models.

A Cisco representative said not every unit had been affected by the issue. “Therefore, the recall of units is just a cautionary move to ensure quality standards,” said the spokesperson.

Cisco has subsequently confirmed that a number of units affected by the recall did indeed find their way to some UK customers.

“In the UK, we have a small handful of customers that use this switch," said a spokesperson. "These customers have been contacted directly and are being supported by their Cisco account managers.”

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