Microsoft to retrofit Xbox wheel after malfunction

NEW YORK Thu Aug 23, 2007 10:30am EDT

A driving control console unit with a steering wheel is shown during the Microsoft XBox 360 2006 E3 media event in Hollywood May 9, 2006. Microsoft said on Thursday it was giving customers free retrofits to a wireless racing wheel with its Xbox 360 video game system after hearing of malfunctions in a wheel component. REUTERS/Fred Prouser

A driving control console unit with a steering wheel is shown during the Microsoft XBox 360 2006 E3 media event in Hollywood May 9, 2006. Microsoft said on Thursday it was giving customers free retrofits to a wireless racing wheel with its Xbox 360 video game system after hearing of malfunctions in a wheel component.

Credit: Reuters/Fred Prouser

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) said on Thursday it was giving customers free retrofits to a wireless racing wheel with its Xbox 360 video game system after hearing of malfunctions in a wheel component.

The company said it was informed of about 50 incidents worldwide of a malfunction in the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel, in which a component in the wheel chassis may overheat and release smoke when the AC/DC power supply is used.

More than 230,000 of the wheels are in the field, a spokeswoman for Microsoft said.

There have been no reported incidences of fire, injury or damage resulting from the component failure, Microsoft said. adding that customers should stop using the AC/DC power supply for the wheel until they get their retrofits.

The company said it was notifying relevant regulatory agencies such as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The spokeswoman said the retrofitting would not be material to Microsoft's earnings.

For the quarter ended June 30, Microsoft took a $1.06 billion charge to fix problems with its Xbox 360 game console, after an "unacceptable" number of repairs, and to offer a new extended warranty to customers.

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