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Citing Potential Fire Hazard, IBM Recalls Six-Year-Old Monitors

Solution providers are alerting customers of a voluntary recall of 56,000 IBM 15-inch CRT monitors and 15-inch touch-screen CRT monitors in the United States due to a potential fire hazard.

IBM, which announced the recall last week in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), said that an undetermined number of the monitors affected by the recall were sold by IBM commercial distributors and partners.

The CPSC said a component on the monitor's circuit board can overheat and smoke, posing a fire hazard. IBM has received five reports of monitors overheating and smoking, including one report of minor property damage. No injuries have been reported.

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>> IBM is offering to replace or repair the monitors and is currently notifying business partners.

The recalled monitors include the G51 CRT and G51t touch-screen CRT models bearing model numbers 6541-02N, 6541-02E, 6541-02S, 6541-Q0N, 6541-Q0E and 6541-Q0S. The monitors included in the recall were manufactured nearly six years ago, between June 1997 and September 1997.

IBM is offering to replace or repair the affected monitors and is in the process of notifying business partners of the recall, according to an IBM spokesman. The company is also offering partners free use of a mailing house to notify customers at no expense to the partner, said the spokesman.

LiteOn Technology, which manufactured the products for IBM, is picking up all the costs of the recall, the spokesman added.

IBM is not sure how many of the products were sold by commercial partners and how many were sold through retailers, the spokesman said.

Among the commercial partners that resold the monitors, according to IBM, are Ingram Micro, Tech Data, GE Capital Solutions, CompuCom, Sarcom, Gates Warehouse, Time Trend, Merisel, Inacom and Pomeroy Computer.

Major retail stores in the United States also sold the 15-inch CRT monitors for approximately $370 in the second half of 1997 and in 1998. Those stores included Best Buy, CompUSA, OfficeMax and Radio Shack.

CPU Sales and Service does not believe it sold any of the affected monitors but is in the process of informing customers of the recall, said Todd Barrett, networking sales manager at the Waltham, Mass.-based solution provider. "We're already talking to customers about it," he said.

One client concerned about potential fire hazards in its data center was checking on the details of the recall, Barrett said.

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