Microsoft Is Recalling Surface Pro Power Cables Due To Overheating

Microsoft is doing a voluntary recall on the power cords for its Surface Pro tablet range due to an issue with the cable that causes the power supply to overheat, which can pose a fire hazard. Hundreds and thousands of Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2 and Surface Pro 3 users could be affected. Here's what Microsoft has to say about the issue. The first Surface Pro was launched in 2012 and was met with a lukewarm reception. But the tablet gained traction among business professionals and soon rose in popularity, spawning the Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro 3 and, most recently the Surface Pro 4 (which Lifehacker reviewed last year). The Surface Pro 4 power cord is not affected by the recall.

According to a statement from Microsoft:

"As a result of damage caused by AC power cords being wound too tightly, twisted or pinched over an extended period of time, a very small proportion of Surface Pro customers have reported issues with their AC power cord. We will be releasing details of how customers can obtain a free replacement cable shortly."

A website will be launched on Friday for Surface Pro series customers to order a replacement power cable. Stay tuned for more news on this.

Originally posted on Lifehacker.


Comments

    AC power cords that are wound tightly, pinched over and twisted for a long time are common, but there are other power cords that are more susceptible to these issues.

    At least theyre not saying you are just winding your cable incorrectly.

    mine just dangles from the wall socket, which was enough for the outer sheath to separate.
    Ordered a replacement this morning without any problems (although the less said about the docking station and the support staff that are on the end of the 1300 number they provided the better, that was a new experience being hung up on by a support person :( )

      I did it via the web page. www.surface.com/powercord I logged in and it knew my devices so just ticked a few boxes and it was done.

      Really? I've had nothing but excellent experiences with Microsoft's phone support. They don't make you wait around for ages, they never sound like they are reading from a checklist and they'll even call you back to save your mobile bills if you ask them.

    Power cables in general are sized as if the cable is installed flat on its length. When you install another cable next to it, and current flows in that cable, it heats it. So the adjacent heat source heats up your cable and decreases its current carrying capacity.

    When the same cable is coiled, each turn of the coil acts as one adjacent cable, so a coiled cable can become very hot because the mutual effect the parallel runs have on each other. Why this is not an issue is that on the one hand, copper can carry really a lot of current, and on the other, the power consumed by electronics is relatively low.

    It starts to become a problem when the balance tips: high power demanding appliances such as powerful tables connected to small, flexible cords. The test is grab your power cable and if you can feel it is hot then there is a problem. The cable can sustain easily up to 75 degrees, which is very hot and you probably won't get there, so it is more an inconvenience rather than a hazard.

    Interestingly they'll only replace one power cord per device. So if you've bought a second one for use in another location I guess you're on your own.

    From this website: https://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/support/warranty-service-and-recovery/powercord it appears they're only replacing the cord, and not the brick itself... which is weird...

      Those parts aren't custom and were maybe bought in bulk from a different manufacturer to the brick. Perhaps they found an issue with just that supplier's cables.

        Basically the cable itself is lacking that extra sheath thingy at the end - the sturdy bit. Sad, I wanted another brick, ah ha

    Bought my SP3 in Aug 2015, the Sydney retailer replaced my cable with the sheathed version in Dec 2015. My cable at that faulty neck area was gaining and losing power with pokes of my finger. Possible cause was having folded the cable back too greatly in that area. Microsoft recall site shows the old and new designs.

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