Consumer Product Safety

NITE Alert_51

October 15, 2002

Alert - Accidents caused by Charging Adapters for Electric Shavers

This alert is to inform consumers of information provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) concerning a recall announcement made by Seiko S-Yard Co., Ltd. with regards to the "Seiko Shaver Battery Charger."

NITE issued the NITE Alert No.49 on December 27, 2000 to promote awareness regarding the “Recall of Charging Adapter Attached to Electric Shaver".

Company Announcement made by Seiko S-Yard Co., Ltd.
on Recall of “Seiko Shaver Battery Charger"

October 1, 2000
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry
G Product Safety Division,
Commerce and Distribution Policy

1.Outline

Since June 6, 2000, Seiko S-Yard has been trying to recall battery chargers for Seiko Shavers, alleging that it may generate smoke while charging and could result in accidental fires.However, since accidents caused by unrecalled battery chargers continue to occur, the company plans to reissue the company announcement on October 2 and 7.

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2.Product subject to recall

Product subject to recall
Product name Seiko Shaver Battery Charger*
Models Battery charger for “ES1910," "ES1815," “ES1810," “RC01," “ES1395"
and “RC41"
Manufacturing numbers
RC01:
9D, 01, 02, 03, 04
RC41:
01, 02, 03, 04
Time of import December 28, 1999 to April 30, 1999
Number of units affected 133,323 units (RC01: 118,379 units, RC41: 14,944 units)
Note:
Products were imported by Izumi Products Company after being manufactured at their factory in China and sold to Seiko S-Yard Co., Ltd.

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3.Cause of accident

The transformer in the charger is prone to insulation failure. When this happens, a partial short circuit occurs between windings, causing a momentary over-current. Although the fusing resistor, installed as a safety device, is melted by the over-current, improper materials covering the fuse periphery are carbonized by the heat and become conductive. Consequently, excess current continues to flow, causing the fusing component to overheat and eventually produce smoke and fire.

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4.Accident details

A total of 417 smoke and fire accidents occurred as of September 19, 2000. Of these, 4 involved the loss of buildings through fire and 14 cases of human injury (burns and throat pains).

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5.Details of recall(as of August 31, 2000)

Details of recall
Number of recalled units Collection rate Number of remaining units
RC01 99,479 units 84.0% 18,900 units
RC41 12,943 units 86.6% 2,001 units
Total 112,422 units 84.3% 20,901 units

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6.Efforts taken by relevant companies

  1. (1)Preventive measures began on June 6, 2000:
    • 1)Announcements were repeatedly posted in newspapers.
    • 2)Announcement has been posted on the company webpage since June 6, 2000.
    • 3)Posters have been placed in stores to alert consumers since June 2000.
    • 4)Recall announcement messages have been enclosed with replacement blades for the shaver.
  2. (2)Additional announcements will be posted in newspapers as follows:
    • 1)5 national papers on Wednesday, October 2
    • 2)36 local papers on Monday, October 7

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7.Efforts taken by METI

  1. (1)Based on “Reporting procedures for accidents related to electric appliances" (notice), the manufacturer submitted the first report in June 2000. This department instructed the manufacturer to strive to recall the product. METI has since continued to receive successive reports on recall progress.
  2. (2)Relevant information was posted as a “NITE Alert" on the National Institute of Technology and Evaluation website and also distributed to nationwide consumer advice centers etc.
  3. (3)METI will continue to provide guidance to the manufacturer on recalling the product. To promote consumer's awareness, METI will also post information about this matter on our website and call on each municipal Bureau of Economy, Trade and Industry to publicize the matter to prefectural governments. In addition, METI will urge NITE to post the alert once again.
  • * Press announcements were posted in national and local papers as scheduled

Fore more information;
National Institute of Technology and Evaluation (NITE)
Product Safety Technology Center, Product Safety Investigation Division

Contact us

 Risk Analysis and Public Relations Division  Product Safety Technology Center  National Institute of Technology and Evaluation
Phone number:+81-6-6612-2066
Fax number:+81-6-6612-1617
Address:1-22-16, Nankokita, Suminoe-ku, Osaka-shi, Osaka 559-0034 Japan MAP