Cablemod recalls its 16-pin GPU power adapters due to fire hazard — over $74,500 in property damage claims so far

The 16-pin (12VHPWR) power connector is just that gift that keeps on… melting. The controversial power connector has already caused many meltdowns since the launch of the GeForce RTX 4090, one of the best graphics cards on the market. Even third-party adapters can’t save it, as Cablemod has officially issued a recall on the company’s popular 12VHPWR angled adapters.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission entry, Cablemod has sold around 25,300 units of the brand’s 12VHPWR angled adapters, in various models and forms, and the recall includes all of them. Note, though, that recall is just for the adapters, as Cablemod claims its angled cables are still fine. The recall applies to purchases from February 2023 through December 2023, whether directly through Cablemod or another retailer.

The reason for Cablemod’s recall is that the adapters, not unlike the 12VHPWR cable itself, can come loose and cause overheating or melting of the 16-pin connector on the graphics card. Cablemod has received 272 user reports about the issue and at least $74,500 in property damage claims, which we assume are damaged graphics cards. Luckily, there haven’t been any reported injuries.

272 cases out of 25,300 represent just a 1% error rate, which may not sound significant. However when dealing with high wattages and temperatures, it only takes one misfortune for things to go very bad. With the potential of a fire hazard, Cablemod ultimately decided to go with a voluntary recall, which is the right thing to do.

(Image credit: Cablemod)

You should stop immediately if you’re using one of the brand’s 12VHPWR angled adapters. Cablemod has provided extended instructions on safely removing the adapter and a video on disabling it properly at its recall minisite. You must provide a receipt or invoice of your purchase and photographs of the disabled adapter. Cablemod doesn’t want the disabled adapter back, but does recommend you dispose of it responsibly.

Cablemod is offering its customers a full refund or $60/60€ in store credit for any non-customized products that the company sells, with free standard shipping. If you have multiple adapters, you’ll get a refund for every one of them. Participants of Cablemod’s Early Adopter Program are also eligible for a refund. You will need a PayPal account to receive a refund, though.

Processing could take six to eight weeks for Cablemod customers and maybe longer if you purchased your adapter through an external authorized online retailer. So it looks like GeForce RTX 40-series graphics card owners are back to using the included 16-pin power adapter. And maybe that’s for the best, especially if you have one of the 16-pin power connectors that’s been revised to enhance safety and ensure a better installation. We haven’t seen any reports of the new 12V-2×6 connector melting, so the revision seems to be working as intended.