PC case and peripheral maker NZXT has recalled its H1 mini-ITX case due to the possibility of a fire hazard under normal use (via Tom’s Hardware). If you used the metal screws included with the $350 case to secure your graphics card or other PCIe device to the riser, there was a chance you’d create sparks, or a fire, if it came into contact with a trace in the printed circuit board.
NZXT seemed to know this in late 2020 when it opted to send out nylon plastic screw kits for H1 owners (upon request) to use in place of the metal ones. But it didn’t issue a full recall at that point, instead opting to resume selling the case. It initially stated that the issue affected “fewer than ten H1 cases,” but more recently YouTube channel Gamers Nexus argued that the nylon screws don’t solve the root problem. If owners ever switched to using a metal screw in the rise, they’d reintroduce the possibility of a fire. It could also spell trouble for people who use metal screws and aren’t aware of the issue.
Gamers Nexus helped to further expose this hazard in a series of videos (here’s parts one, two, and three), showing its work along the way, which essentially proved the design to be flawed — and dangerous. According to its research (and confirmed by NZXT in the FAQ section of this post), the screw’s thread can brush up against the trace in the circuitry as it’s twisted into place. Gamers Nexus worked with NZXT and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), a government agency, which issued a Fast Track recall of the PC case on February 12th. CPSC says you should stop using the recalled case, a situation which isn’t convenient ever — especially during a pandemic when it’s tougher to get a different case quickly.
The recall affects 32,000 cases sold in the US, along with about 1,024 sold in Canada. The CPSC notes that the recall involves “cases with model numbers CA-H16WR-W1 (matte white) and CA-H16WR-B1 (matte black) and serial numbers 1200233400001 to 1203962204202, 00648999610844189725 to 00648999610844206361, and 0120AC00100001 to 01211C01900285.” You can find that info on the bottom of the case.