Last Thursday, Best Buy announced a voluntary recall of the Insignia IS-LCDTV26 television. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission recall announcement is posted here: http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09183.html. The reason for the recall is that Best Buy received two reports of the TVs catching on fire as a result of a failure of the power supply. One report included “minor burns to the hands” as well.
Best Buy is recalling all 13,300 units of this model, and offering a gift card in an amount equal to “the value of a replacement television”. Presumably, the replacement models offered will not be able to do double duty as a space heater.
There are couple of key points about this story. Best Buy has acted decisively in the face of a failure that has occured in a tiny number of the sets, but that poses a potentially catastrophic risk. The bigger point, however, is that this sort of recall is extremely rare among flat panel TVs these days. These are incredibly reliable devices, which makes a recall such as this stand out all the more. ( I could only find one other flat panel recall in the past two years on the Consumer Protection site.) This speaks well for the design and manufacture quality for flat panels as a whole, from the premium brands right down to the bargain models.