I used to think my Amazon Kindle was a SuperStar!  Then the Kindle DX crashed my party, and I swore I’d never buy another Kindle — and I have not.  I read Kindle books on my iPhone and on my delightful iPad.  I like a bright, backlit, screen because I spend a lot of time in dark places like theatres and dank basements and editing rooms and recording bays — so the Kindle’s need for direct light in order to be read is a real problem for me — especially eyes age and the need for greater illumination grows.  I still use my Kindle to occasionally browse the sale rack on Amazon, and that means I have to infrequently recharge my Kindle.  The other day, when I plugged my Kindle in to the Amazon power source shown in the image below, I got a mild tingling in my fingers:  My Kindle electroshocked me!  My eyes rolled back into my head as I shook off the bite.

As I recovered from the annoying sensation of sticking my finger into a live outlet, I looked down to discover my Kindle 2 charging wire was disintegrating before my eyes!

The rubber coating over the wires had become brittle.  Just picking up the wire resulted in a multiplicity of new cracks and bits of rubber flaking off to the floor.

I wondered how long the Amazon Kindle cable had been rotting?  I checked the power cables for my iPhone and iPad — they were in fine shape.

Then I checked all the power cords in our home to make sure they weren’t suffering the same fate as my Amazon Kindle power cord.  All other cords in the house checked out in good condition.

I urge you to check your Amazon Kindle charging cord for breaks and cracking.  If you don’t see any signs cracks or flaking, pick up the cord and gently bend it a bit — any good power cord can tolerate lots of bends without breaking — and if you see a new break, or if you feel any uncommon resistance to your effort to bend the cord:  Beware!  You, too, could be in for the unexpected Amazon Kindle “electroshock therapy” of a lifetime!

20 Comments

  1. UPDATE:

    I just checked Janna’s Kindle 2 power cord — and while it isn’t as clearly missing bits of rubber as mine — if you run the cord through your fingers, you can feel the hard cracks have formed in the rubber and it is only a matter of time, or bending, and her cord will look exactly like mine.

    Is this a bard Kindle cords batch? Or is this endemic?

  2. My Kindle cord is doing the same thing. No electric tape can fix this. Breaking and shedding the rubber. I live in southern Africa and have no idea how long it will take ot get a replacement. My Ipod cable is older and just fine. .

    1. Hi Cynthia, and welcome to Celebrity Semiotic!

      It looks like the Amazon Kindle cable — without the plug end — is just a USB 2.0 A to Mini-B Cable that you might be able to purchase and do a straight replacement. At least that’s what it looks like on my USA Kindle:

      http://www.amazon.com/Cables-Go-27005-Mini-B-Cable/dp/B000067RVL

      I’m not suggesting I’m right and I am not encouraging you try what I suggest — but it might be one option to consider if Amazon won’t directly replace the broken cable for you.

      Let us know what you decide to do and if it works out for you in the end.

      1. I contacted Amazon and they will refund the cost of a new cable. Very quick response, on a Sunday no less. Thanks for your idea, as I may have such a cable over here, and that means less delay.

        Cheers,
        Cynthia

          1. The replacement cord from Amazon did arrive and they refunded the cost as requested. Kindle now working fine, although I dropped it on the tile floor and it now has a crack in upper left corner and that corner no longer displays anything. Such is life.
            Cynthia

  3. Just discovered my Kindle cord is doing the same thing. I’m living in Cambodia now. I don’t know if the heat or weather has anything to do with it, but it is really frustrating. I’m going to have my husband contact Amazon, since he’s in the States at present and see if he can get a new one for me. Thanks for sharing this info, and hope you will be free from any future shocking experiences!

    1. Yikes!

      Thanks for confirming your similar experience, Jenny. I hope Amazon is doing something about these charging cords. My Kindle stays indoors 100% of the time — so the elements or travel damage cannot be factors in the deconstructive shedding of the rubber coating.

  4. THE USB CORD FOR MY KINDLE2 HAS BEEN SHEDDING INSULATION FROM BOTH ENDS. I HAVE HAD THE KINDLE AND CORD FOR AROUND 1 YEAR. THIS KIND OF DAMAGE IS USUALLY ASSOCIATED WITH HEAT BUT IS NOT THE CASE WITH MY CORD. I GOOGLED THE PROBLEM AND IT SEEMS MANY PEOPLE ARE HAVING THE SAME EXPERIENCE WHICH LEADS ME TO BELIEVE THE PROBLEM IS INHERENT WITH THIS CORD AND THIS MATERIAL.THE CORD IS 20.00 BUT AMAZON MIGHT AGREE TO ABSORB THE COST OF REPLACEMENTS.GOOD LUCK.

    1. It is definitely a manufacturing problem, William. It’s a real mess. Once the cord starts to crack just a little, the whole thing comes apart in you hands. Amazon should put out a formal recall for these cords and cross-ship replacements free of charge.

  5. I had the exact same problem – both ends have the white covering cracking off. Mine have been stored in a climate-controlled house, with no careless storage or handling. I just googled the problem and found this post. I’ll contact Amazon right now! Thanks to all-

  6. I had the same problem. I’ve had the Kindle for a little over a year and the cable is literally crumbling in my hands. I called Amazon, and they immediately agreed to send a replacement completely free of charge. The agent actually placed it in my shopping cart and waited for me to complete the purchase and then also absorbed the shipping charges. All taken care of in less than 2 minutes.

  7. I have read all these comments and am still alarmed. Have sent a report to Consumer Product Safety Commission as I feel this is a safety hazard. In addition to causing serious electrical shocks, it could cause a fire. I am worried about my grand children, who have Kindles, and sometimes charge them overnight. A fire could start while they are sleeping. Although Amazon is sending me a new wire, I will be worried about using it, if this problem has not been solved by their company. I urge all Kindle users to send a complaint to the Federal Agency as I have done. A total recall should be done by Amazon of the wires and replacement should be of wires that do not have this dangerous and hazardous problem.

  8. I just discovered this posting as I was looking for an answer for the outer cord disintegrating as I was charging my Kindle. Unbelievable…really scared me! I’ve never seen anything like this, but I was glad to see I was not imagining things.

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