Recall issued on overheating Acer gaming PCs

Acer is recalling its Predator Gaming desktop units, in conjunciton with the U.S. Consumer Safety Product Commission, because of the potential for them to overheat, melt and catch fire.

The models being recalled are ASG7200 and ASG7700 (printed on the bottom right-hand corner of the panel on the right side of the unit), because there are certain wires inside that can get pinched and thus overheat. That can lead to melting or other damage to the unit and, in some cases, fire. The CSPC issued the recall alert, saying Acer had voluntarily recalled the units after receiving two reports of units that had short-circuited, "resulting in melted internal components and external casing." Neither report was from the United States, the CSPC said, and no one has been injured. The recall affects about 215 units.

The gaming machines (made in China) ran $2,000 to $6,000 when sold in the states from May to December 2008. Acer is telling users to stop using the machines, unplug them and not open or close the hard disk drive door, because that increases the risk of pinching the wires.

Owners should call 1-866-695-2237 in the United States, 1-866-706-2237 in Canada and inform the first agent they speak with that the call is related to Predator and have the serial number on hand. The agent will take that information and put owners in touch with a specialist for "detailed instructions." Otherwise, owners can e-mail customer service and a representative is supposed to get back in touch within one business day.

Acer will repair all units for free.