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Nvidia determines that some Shield tablets pose a fire risk, initiates voluntary recall

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Nvidia’s Shield tablet is a fantastic portable gaming machine, but it’s not without its imperfections: it’s heavy, a tad chunky, and short on storage. And alarmingly, you can now add “fire hazard” to that list. Nividia has determined that the tablet’s battery poses a safety risk, and in response has initiated a voluntary recall of Shield tablets sold between July 2014 and July 2015.

At fault, it seems, are high temperatures: Nvidia says the Shield tablet’s battery can overheat to the extent that it ignites. The company is instructing customers to stop using their tablet (“except as needed to participate in the recall and backup data”) and to initiate the return process through a dedicated webpage. To be clear, Nvidia said, the recall “does not affect any other […] products” in its Shield line of devices.

Eligible buyers will get a replacement tablet.

Don’t remember when you picked up your Shield? There’s an easy way to tell if it’s affected:

  • Update to the latest software (dated July 1 or later) by navigating to Apps > Settings > About tablet > System Updates.
  • Check your battery model by tapping About tablet > Status in the Settings menu.
  • In the “Battery” category, you’ll see Y01 or B01. If yours reports Y01, send it in.

The 8-inch Shield isn’t the only high-profile device to undergo a recall on account of faulty batteries. In early June, Apple launched a recall of all Beats Pill XL speakers. And Lenovo last year recalled laptop batteries in the U.S. and China that it discovered were prone to overheating.

Despite the scope and scale of recent battery recalls, the incidence rates are usually quite low. In the case of the Beats Pill, Apple documented eight cases of overheating (it has sold more than 200,000 in North America alone). And of the tens of thousands of batteries covered by Lenovo’s recall, only two caught fire. That’s because lithium-ion failures are rare, and according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the most common cause of overheating is misuse (i.e., the use of unauthorized chargers and batteries).

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