15.5 million Toshiba laptop AC adapters recalled over fire hazard

On February 21st, Dynabook Americas (formerly Toshiba) issued an emergency recall for 15.5 million Toshiba laptop adapters sold in the US and Canada between April 2008 and April 2014. Adapters impacted by this issue need to be replaced since they’re prone to overheating to the point of igniting a spark that could cause a small burn or even a fire.

Dynabook Americas states it received 679 reports of the recalled AC adapters overheating, catching fire, melting, or burning. Of those reports, 43 resulted in minor burn injuries. 

Unfortunately, a mass recall like this also points toward these adapters overheating being a matter of “if,” not “when,” so customers with these adapters should still return them, even if they seem to be working fine right now. Since the range is about six years from 2008 to 2014, that’s a decently wide window for these 15.5 million faulty AC adapters to have circulated throughout the market, including used and secondhand PC markets.

So, what do you do if you want to check if you’re impacted? Fortunately, Dynabook has set up a convenient AC Adapter Replacement Program web tool showing you where to get the key part numbers from your AC adapter and input them on the page to get a quick prognosis. Hopefully, you aren’t impacted by this.

Alternatively, you can check Dynabook’s official support page to get a complete list of all impacted Toshiba AC Adapters and eyeball it if you don’t feel like using the tool. That support page also includes a section of 12 QnAs which provides warranty info and wait times on receiving a new adapter (90 days and 7-14 business days, respectively).

With any luck, those reading this are not directly impacted by this issue and, thus, don’t need to worry. Realistically there’s a high chance that the 10+ year old laptops most directly impacted by this issue are long retired, but any PC enthusiast worth their salt knows that old PCs are prime repurposing material for HTPCs, Linux, and the like. Fortunately the Toshiba laptops themselves are still fine— just make sure that adapter isn’t on The List.