By James Wells

SYDNEY: Philips has confirmed that a limited number of faulty Ambilight plasma televisions, which have been identified as requiring a minor repair in the North American market only, were not sold in Australia.

Philips’ North American subsidiary has decided to conduct a preventative repair on a limited quantity of plasma televisions, including one 42-inch model and two 50-inch models, distributed only in the US market.

According to a spokesperson for Philips Australia, Philips USA has been working with the US CPSC (Consumer Product and Safety Commission) since they first found out about the use of material by a Philips supplier which did not meet the Dutch manufacturer’s specifications.

The non-conforming part, if not replaced, may be liable to component failure with the potential risk for internal sparks and smoke, and in the worst case, ignition of the failed component internal to the Ambilight enclosure.

“Based on incidences reported and internal testing, Philips has concluded that there is virtually no risk of an external fire-hazard due to the use of cabinets constructed with flame retardant material,” a Philips Australia spokesperson confirmed this morning to

”Similarly, no external fire, personal injury or property damage has been experienced by any consumer. Philips USA is currently working through its affected customer base to conduct this preventative repair,” he said.

Philips Australia has criticised an Australian media report regarding the faulty televisions as “inaccurate”.

“Australian consumers are in no way affected and Philips USA has acted quickly and voluntarily in what is a preventative measure," the spokesperson said.

"This is a US-only issue, and as a corporation that considers product safety and quality of major importance, we are pleased that our US colleagues have taken this preventative and proactive action with the interests of our consumers in mind.

" This is a one off issue and represents only a fraction of televisions produced by Philips in 2005.

"Our US colleagues are doing this as a precautionary measure. There have been no external fires on any of the incidents reported, so it is a shame that this irresponsible and inaccurate report may cause unnecessary and unwarranted fear among Australian consumers who are not affected at all."