Philips is facing a PR disaster in the US, after announcing that it will have to make 12,000 house calls to repair plasma and LCD screens which it has identified as being at risk from overheating.
The screens, both 42inch and 50 inch models, all feature the brand’s much vaunted Ambilight technology. Philips has confirmed that the affected TVs are liable to component failure with the potential risk for internal sparks and smoke, and in the worst case, ignition of the failed component internal to the Ambilight enclosure itself.
So should UK and European owners of Philips Ambilight screens be concerned that their flatscreens are also about to ignite? We asked Tina Withington, the brand’s Media relations manager for the full skinny.
“Firstly the issue is indeed specific to the US and therefore does not affect any UK or Pan-European models,” she told us. “There seems to be a lot speculation, so to be clear, it would be good to clarify what has been a proactive exercise by Philips in the States. Philips US operation was alerted to an irregularity specific to certain batches of its 42 inch and 50 inch Plasma and LCD TVs with Ambilight technology, produced between April and August of 2005, and distributed in North America only.”
“The affected TVs are liable to component failure with the potential risk for internal sparks and smoke, and in the worst case, ignition of the failed component internal to the Ambilight enclosure. Based on incidences reported and testing by Philips, we conclude that there is virtually no risk of an external fire-hazard due to the use of cabinets constructed with flame retardant material. No external fire, personal injury or property damage has been experienced. Nonetheless, Philips has been performing preventive repairs in consumer’s homes as a precautionary measure.”