We regret to announce a full recall of RedEye mini units bearing serial numbers beginning with C0101. We have determined that there is a high likelihood that these units will fail. Customers who purchased may choose to receive either a replacement unit from the next lot (D0102) or a full refund of their purchase.
Failures are the result of vibrations which cause wiring between the headphone jack and the mini’s printed circuit board to break or to create short circuits with other components. In the original design of the RedEye mini, the headphone jack is soldered directly to the printed circuit board, preventing the printed circuit board from moving relative to the headphone jack, as shown in the following photo of a prototype unit.
The manufacturer of the C0101 lot felt that it was too difficult to solder the headphone jack to the printed circuit board in this fashion. As a result, we approved a design change that would allow the circuit board to be secured to the plastic enclosure by a permanent adhesive, thus keeping the printed circuit board fixed and preventing vibrations from stressing the wiring.
We began to see an alarming number of tested units fail “in the field,” so on Thursday, 22 July 2010 we opened up some of these units to discover that the circuit boards were secured with a relatively small dot of low-tack foam tape. As a result of being improperly secured, circuit boards are coming loose from their housings and being jostled about. As they shake, wires become loose and break, or come in contact with other components on the board, resulting in erratic behavior of the unit.
Based upon what we are seeing with these units secured by foam tape, we believe it is only a matter of time before many of these printed circuit boards will separate from the plastic enclosure and begin to float freely. Rather than wait for these units to fail, we feel that the best alternative is to replace them as soon as possible.
As we had quality concerns before, we were already in the process of transitioning RedEye mini manufacturing to a new contractor. On Friday, 23 July 2010 an engineering team from our new supplier visited the manufacturer of the C0101 lot to take over all supplies, tooling, and other materials necessary to begin producing new RedEye mini units. Going forward, all RedEye mini units will be made in accordance with the original design, having the headphone jack securely soldered to the printed circuit board to prevent vibration failures.
We sincerely apologize for both the inconvenience and the delays that we have caused our customers with this oversight. Unfortunate though it has been, this has been a learning experience for us, and we hope to win back your confidence as we improve our control over the manufacturing process.
Customers who purchased a mini from lot C0101 will automatically receive a replacement unit at no cost once new units are available. Those who wish to receive a refund should send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and specify their original order number.