Photograph by Jin Lee — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Have you been winding, twisting, or pinching?

By Don Reisinger
January 20, 2016

If you own a Surface Pro and haven’t been too nice to your power cord, you may want to listen up.

Microsoft MSFT will offer a free power cord replacement to Surface Pro owners, the company told ZDNet on Tuesday. A Microsoft spokesperson told the news outlet that “a very small proportion” of Surface Pro owners experienced AC power cord damage after the cables were “wound too tightly, twisted, or pinched over an extended period of time.”

Ultimately, the issue comes down to how much damage a power cord has suffered over the years. Due to an unidentified defect, when the power cord connected to older Surface Pros came under too much pressure for too long a period, it would run the risk of overheating, according to an earlier report from the EU’s Channelnomics. That news outlet, which claims to have spoken to Microsoft about the issue, says that when the power cords overheat, they could become a fire hazard.

The Surface Pro is Microsoft’s answer to higher-end slates, like Apple’s AAPL iPad Air line and the iPad Pro. The first-generation Surface Pro launched in 2013 and was quickly followed by subsequent iterations. The Surface Pro 4 launched last year.

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The Surface Pro represented a major departure for Microsoft. While the company had built some accessories and other hardware over the years, it largely stayed away from manufacturing its own computers so it wouldn’t compete with the vendors it relies on to peddle its Windows operating system. The Surface Pro was an opportunity for Microsoft to break into the hardware market and effectively put the company in competition with those vendors.

Overall, the Surface Pro line has done little to make Microsoft a standout in the computer market. Indeed, while exact sales figures across the entire line are not known, the Surface Pro hasn’t put a dent into more popular products like Apple’s iPad.

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According to the ZDNet report, Microsoft’s recall on the Surface Pro power cords is worldwide and will affect anyone who purchased a Surface Pro, Surface Pro 2, or Surface Pro 3 before March 2015. However, the recall is only voluntary and customers who purchased the Surface Pro 4 will not be eligible to return their power cords.

Microsoft plans to release details on the voluntary recall in the coming days. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reports.

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