updated 04:40 pm EDT, Thu August 23, 2007
360 racing wheel defects
Following complaints, Microsoft plans to send out replacement parts for the Wireless Racing Wheel it sells for its Xbox 360 console. The Associated Press notes that Microsoft has so far received at least 50 reports about the wheel, which if plugged in, may begin to overheat or even smoke after sufficient time. Although no damages or injuries have been hinted at to date, Microsoft has started a new "retrofit" program, through which users can mail in to receive the parts and instructions needed to fix their wheels. The controller is said to be safe when powered only by batteries.
The wheel issue is another unwelcome thorn for Microsoft, whose 360 console has been plagued by technical problems. In July the company decided to extend its warranty for the console to three years in cases of the "red ring of death," typically linked to overheating. Microsoft also faces a lawsuit over disc scratches, though such complaints have been rare.