NZXT apologizes for how it handled H1 case fire hazard issue

Published: 2nd Feb 2021, 09:50 GMT   Comments

NZXT apologizes for H1 case safety problems, promises new riser cables

Graphics cards are no longer the hottest PC component, NZXT can literally put your PC on fire. 

It took almost a year for NZXT to admit H1 cases are dangerous. The unique XBOX Series X-shaped PC case has been confirmed to cause a short circuit around the raiser cable. The 12V PCIe lane was too close to the metal screw that keeps the riser in place.

As a temporary solution, NZXT recommended the metal screws to be removed, as the company began production of new nylon screws for the riser. Those nylon screws would not drill through the PCB as much as metal screws. It has been proven that multiple cycles of screw removal can expose the 12V PCIe lane and cause a short circuit. So technically the issue could appear over time, as the customer would remove the riser to install new graphics cards. This is especially a big problem when new graphics cards have been released and many users may want to upgrade their graphics cards.

NZXT H1 riser metal screw, Source: NZXT

There were multiple reports showing the problem. The video from Mark’s Tech has shown how the case would catch on fire.

NZXT H1 case catching fire, Source: Marks’ Tech, Overclock3D

NZXT CEO has published a letter to the community. The company has promised to remove the H1 case from the store (this has not happened yet), and to deliver a new PCI Gen3 riser to customers who already requested nylon screw repair kits.

To our community,

We’re sorry.

The nylon screws were not the complete solution for the H1 fire hazard; they didn’t address the root cause of the issue. We didn’t account for scenarios where someone could replace the nylon screws with metal ones unknowingly. Our execution did not live up to the quality that our community has come to expect from us.

We will be removing the H1 from the NZXT Store and NZXT BLD. We’re going to send out redesigned PCIe Gen3 Riser Assemblies for current H1s and we’re going to help with installation for those who need it.

Going forward, we’re instituting more robust and thorough design processes. From the initial designs, QA, to additional testing, we’re committed to quality in both our products and our response to your concerns.

We want to thank Steve from Gamers Nexus. He and his team brought the issue of someone replacing the nylon screws with metal screws to our attention and raised the urgency surrounding it.

— Johnny Hou, NZXT CEO

The issue has been comprehensively explained in a video from Gamers Nexus:

[Gamers Nexus] NZXT is Irresponsible & Dangerous: H1 Riser Fire Hazard Should Be Recalled (1,113,911 views)

NZXT H1 Fire Hazard Q&A

  • Why did NZXT take so long to address the PCIe Riser issue?
    This PCIe Riser is custom. We started the redesign on it in November after we discovered the flaw and originally planned to ship it with H1s as a process update. We have now updated that plan with much more urgency and direct service to H1 owners. We felt confident that the nylon screws were a viable long-term fix to the issue. We now realize that isn’t good enough. We need to address the root cause for the lifetime of the product.
  • What happened with the PCIe Riser Assembly?
    Our Design, Engineering, and QA processes missed an incorrect clearance on the 12V power plane in the PCIe Riser Assembly PCB. This can cause a fire hazard if the mounting screw contacts the 12V power plane in the PCB. Please refer to our email, blog post or support phone number for more questions.
  • Are the nylon screws a fix?
    Yes. The nylon screw kit fixes the problem but does not address the root cause. If the nylon screws are ever replaced with metal ones, there will be a risk of a fire hazard.
  • Why are you doing this if the nylon screws fix the problem?
    We want to prevent any danger from coming back in the case where someone replaces the nylon screws with metal screws in the future. The goal is to ensure safety for the lifetime of the product.
  • Why is it taking so long for customers to get the nylon screw repair kit?
    We underestimated the scale of the effort. Our teams were initially overwhelmed with requests. We have been increasing our team capacity to improve response times.
  • How long is it going to take to get this fix?
    We should have the PCIe Riser Assembly shipping by the end of March and will keep you updated on its status.
  • Why did you put back the H1 on sale without the new riser?
    The nylon screw kit fixes the problem. However, it does not address the root cause. We’ve since removed the H1 from and until the new PCIe Riser Assembly is available.
  • Can I return my H1?
    If you purchased your H1 from NZXT or NZXT BLD then we will honor any request to return it for a full refund. If you purchased from another retailer we can offer a PCIe Riser replacement but otherwise you will need to return to the point of purchase to request a return. If you run into any issues with your retailer, please contact our Customer Service team.
  • Will you proceed with a formal recall?
    We have been working closely with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) towards a formal recall since November 2020. We will share this directly with you as soon as the official recall is announced by the CPSC.

End of NZXT H1 Fire Hazard Q&A

Source: NZXT

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