If you’re using an angled CableMod 12VHPWR adapter on your Nvidia GPU, then you need to stop using it immediately and destroy it, says the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). According to the recall notice, this is because the adapters represent “fire and burn hazards.”
The propensity for the 16-pin 12VHPWR connector to overheat and melt has been in a thorn in the side of the latest Nvidia GPUs since launch. That doesn’t stop a GPU such as the RTX 4090 from being the best graphics card in its class when it comes to frame rates, but it does mean you need to be really sure you have a tightly secure connection between your 12VHPWR power plug and your graphics card to prevent it from melting, and CableMod is no longer confident that its adapters can do this.
To its credit, CableMod has issued the recall voluntarily, and says it will offer a full refund via Paypal, or $60 / 60€ credit in its online store, along with free shipping. The recall not only covers the original adapters that CableMod produced, but also the later V1.1 models, which introduced a stabilizing pin to help secure the male plug on the adapter. We’re not just talking about the L-shaped, 90-degree adapters either – the recall also covers straight units. However, CableMod says that its angled 12VHPWR cables (as opposed to adapters) aren’t affected.
The CPSC unambiguously states that “the adapters’ male connector can become loose, overheat, and melt into the GPU, posing fire and burn hazards.” This has resulted in property damage claims worth “at least $74,500,” with 272 reported incidents, says the organization.
The notice states that there are around 25,300 units of the adapters in the US that need recalling. Of course, 272 incidents out of 25,300 units means there’s only a failure rate of just over 1%, but the level of danger from fire is clearly serious enough to warrant the recall.
“Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled angled adapters,” says the CPSC, adding that you’ll then be asked to destroy the adapter and “upload a photo of the destroyed product” to the adapter recall section of CableMod’s website. The cable maker has also issued a video (which you can see above) detailing the process of disabling your 12VHPWR adapter. Once you’ve taken a photo of your dead adapter that you can upload, you can fill out the recall form and get your refund or store credit.
The fire risk from 12VHPWR cables has been well documented over the last couple of years, prompting an internal investigation by Nvidia shortly after the launch of the RTX 4090, and one graphics card repair firm recently stated that it receives 100 melted RTX 4090 cards a month. If you’re looking to build a gaming PC with a decent GPU that doesn’t use this connector, then check out our Radeon RX 7800 XT review, as these cards all use traditional PCIe power connectors.