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Xbox 360 racing wheel gets cooling retrofit

More bad luck for Xbox users. First there was the Xbox 360 warranty extension because of the so-called "flashing lights of death" failures, ostensibly due to overheating issues.

Now, Microsoft is offering a free retrofit to owners of the Xbox 360 Wireless Racing Wheel game controller, also due to overheating issues. When used with the AC/DC power supply, a component in the wheel chassis can smoke. The company says there have been no fires, property damage or injuries due to the problem to date.

But just to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to get the retrofit. And in the meantime, you should use the wheel in battery mode only. Smoke is never a good thing when it comes to consumer electronics and you don't want to take the chance of burning yourself or, for instance, your home - even if it seems remote.

The affected wheels were made in 2006 and 2007. You can get further info on the Xbox 360 site, where you'll need to go to print out and mail/or fax in the retrofit form.

One downside: the wheel's force feedback feature will be unavailable until you get the retrofit.

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