Toshiba expects minimal impact to local customers and resellers after announcing a global programme to replace faulty memory modules in certain models of its notebook computers on Monday.
Mark Whittard, Toshiba general manager for Australia and New Zealand says while it is difficult to say how many affected machines were sold in the country, the number is expected to be minimal.
The programme covers Toshiba notebooks that have been on sale since April 2002 and the programme covers 27 models globally, of which only eight were sold in New Zealand. They are the Tecra S1, M1, M2 and 9100; Portege R100 and M200; Satellite 2400 and M30.
Toshiba says the potentially faulty component was supplied by third parties, but is not identifying the manufacturer or manufacturers. This disclosure is believed to be prohibited by a non-disclosure agreement between the supplier and Toshiba.
Globally Toshiba has sold about 650,000 computers that contain the type of memory module in question that the company believes could cause a blue-screen error, machine lockup or memory data corruption when the machine is activated from sleep mode.
“It is a theoretical problem and there has not been one reported case of it actually occurring,” says Whittard.
The discovery of the fault came after Hewlett-Packard announced a similar issue with a number of its older models in June this year. This sparked an investigation by Toshiba into whether its machines are affected.
Whittard points out that the programme is not a product recall, but a voluntary replacement programme. Customers owning the models identified can download or order on a free CD a utility tool that determines whether their machine may be affected. They then have the option to order a replacement module free of charge, which is user installable in most instances, says Whittard.
The programme will not affect Toshiba resellers, says Whittard, and they only need to refer customers to a website containing the diagnostic tool or to a specially created toll free support number.
According to HP New Zealand notebook manager Simon Molloy the company launched its own memory replacement programme in June, which addresses an issue HP detected with some notebook architectures and some third party memory modules.
HP’s programme runs until the end of December and Toshiba’s until April 30, 2005.