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Warning for N97 Users: Potential Fire Hazard

August 12, 2009

ca-146c If you have a Nokia N97, you will probably have received the Nokia CA-146C in the box, an adapter so you can use the two popular Nokia chargers (3.5mm and 2mm connections) with your N97 which uses a Micro USB connection.

I myself have briefly used the adapter with an in car charger, Nokia DC-4, and experienced the adapter to be so hot that it was like trying to hold a hot bulb. It occurred to me that this seemed abnormal but I thought nothing more of it at the end of a short charge.

A user over at the All About Symbian forums and another at the Nokia discussion forums have both experienced overheating of the adapter unit also but with dire consequences. According to their pictures, the CA-146C has become so hot that the outer casing has melted, one of of their cases so much so, that it reveals the innards.

A quick scan for any reference to the adapter in the manual for the N97 proved fruitless, maybe I am going blind. However, the item is listed at Nokia UK’s site, listing the following devices as compatible with the CA-146C:

“Nokia Charger Adapter CA-146C enables you to charge your microUSB phone, accessory or other device using your exisiting(sic) Nokia 2.0 or 3.5mm charger. E.g.
Nokia Travel Charger AC-4
Nokia Compact Travel Charger AC-5
Nokia Travel Charger ACP-12
Nokia Retractable Car Charger DC-9
Nokia Mobile Charger DC-4
Nokia Mobile Charger LCH-12

I have the DC-4 but am not willing to test the limits of this thing again after feeling how hot the adapter got the first time around.

Consider this a warning. Don’t charge your phone using the adapter for long periods or leave it unattended when charging until we hear more from Nokia.

UPDATE: I askied Nokia if they had heard anything and if they would like to comment on this issue, I received the following reply:

“We have received information of a few individual Nokia CA-146C charger adapters which may have malfunctioned during the charging of a device. Product quality is clearly a top priority for Nokia and we started to investigate this issue immediately. We will take any corrective steps which prove necessary in order to facilitate the best possible customer experience.”

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