A faulty electrical plug is forcing Motorola Broadband Communications Sector
to recall an unspecified percentage of the 1 million 'DCT-2000' digital set-top
boxes manufactured between late February and May of this year.
Given the fact that the DCT-2000 is the most widely deployed box, the recall
will affect virtually all North American MSOs, including Cox Communications
Inc., AT&T Broadband, Charter Communications Inc. and Time Warner Cable.
Carl McGrath, vice president and general manager, digital consumer gateways,
said the recall affects 'a small percentage' of the 1 million boxes shipped
between February and May. So far, there have been no reports of any cable
subscribers being injured as a result of the defect.
'The actual impact is a pretty small percentage of that, but we have to go
through the population and be very careful with them to identify potentially
affected units by serial number and by delivery date,' he said.
'Working from production dates, we can go through serial numbers and not only
work with them in warehousing, but also, obviously, for any units installed, we
can go through access-control systems and identify them,' he added.
The problem appears to center on a mechanical defect in the power-supply
circuit within the detachable power plug. While it would pose no danger to units
if they are left alone, it would potentially pose a problem if customers decide
to unplug the digital box.
Motorola was made aware of the problem by its manufacturer in the past two
weeks, and it is now working with the MSOs and the Consumer Product Safety
Commission on a recall plan. There is no estimate as to how long the process is
going to take, but McGrath said it would be 'highly accelerated.'
Motorola will not release the potential cost for the recall.
'The cost of this is not material to Motorola,' he added. 'From a
financial-community sense, it is not material. Clearly, it is an issue that we
want to work with the MSOs to clean up among us ASAP.'