Microsoft Recalls Xbox Power Leads Due to Electrical Issue

February 16, 2005 by Jeff Shepard

Microsoft Corp. (Redmond, WA) announced that it will recall 14.1 million power cords for its Xbox video game console after a defect gave some users minor singe burns and scorched carpets. The recall covered all Xboxes made for continental Europe before January 13, 2004, and units made for the rest of the world before October 23, 2003. Consoles built after those dates were designed in such a way that the failures no longer occurred.

The company declined to say who manufactured the defective units, but said it was accepting responsibility for the problem. Microsoft also declined to comment on what the replacement program would cost the company. The recall represents a significant portion of the worldwide Xbox installed base of more than 20 million. Based on reports to its customer service unit and warranty repair data, Microsoft had observed a failure rate of about 1 in 10,000 units.

Affected customers can request a new power cord free of charge via the Xbox website at or by calling toll-free numbers in their respective countries. Microsoft said customers would get replacement cords within two to four weeks from the time of order, and in the interim it advised users to turn off their Xboxes when not in use.