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Asus admits fault, recalls motherboards that were catching on fire

Recently, there have been widespread reports of the Asus ROG Maximus Z690 motherboard burning up. Asus didn’t officially acknowledge the problem until December 29. The company acknowledged the problem and underlying causes and announced a recall for the faulty motherboards.

After news broke of the burning motherboards, Tom’s Hardware reached out to Asus for a statement. The company responded and produced a full press release outlying the causes. You can read the full statement below:

“To our valued ASUS Customers, ASUS is committed to producing the highest quality products and we take every incident report from our valued customers very seriously. We have recently received incident reports regarding the ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboard. In our ongoing investigation, we have preliminarily identified a potential reversed memory capacitor issue in the production process from one of the production lines that may cause debug error code 53, no post, or motherboard components damage. The issue potentially affects units manufactured in 2021 with the part number 90MB18E0-MVAAY0 and serial number starting with MA, MB, or MC. You can identify your part number by referring to the product packaging:

Asus motherboard serial and part numbers.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

As of December 28, 2021, there have been a few incidents reported in North America. Going forward, we are continuing our thorough inspection with our suppliers and customers to identify all possible affected ROG Maximus Z690 Hero motherboards in the market and will be working with relevant government agencies on a replacement program. Thank you so much to everyone for your patience and support while we are working through the replacement program.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact ASUS customer service.

Hopefully, Asus’ statement provides much-needed clarity and relief for those who shelled out $600 for this ultra premium motherboard that we named as the “ultimate Z690 motherboard.” Numerous reports on the official Asus forums and the Asus subreddit detailed burning smells, error codes, and actual fires. Youtube channel Actually Hardcore Overclocking correctly pinpointed the problem of the capacitor being installed backward.

A Asus ROG Maximus Z690 Hero burning up.
Maximumrog57 on the Asus forum Image used with permission by copyright holder

This isn’t the only time a major PC hardware manufacturer had to deal with fiery problems. Well-known case and AIO cooler maker, NZXT, faced problems with its H1 mini-ITX case when the Gamers Nexus YouTube channel demonstrated how the H1 could catch fire. There was a design flaw in which the metal mounting screws from the 12-volt power plane could puncture the PCIe riser cable and short circuit the motherboard causing a fire hazard. NZXT initially tried replacing the metal screws with nylon ones but was again stymied by Gamers Nexus pointing out the potential for builders to replace the nylon with metal screws again (thus reintroducing the fire hazard). The company finally admitted defeat and removed the H1 from their online store until they could install redesigned PCIe Gen3 riser cables.

As for the ROG Maximus Z690 motherboard owners, it’s highly advised to check your serial and part numbers to see if yours was affected and probably avoid using it until Asus can send replacement motherboards.

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David Matthews
Former Digital Trends Contributor
David is a freelance journalist based just outside of Washington D.C. specializing in consumer technology and gaming. He has…
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