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Cochlear implant recall costs over $100m

Cochlear, the Australian company behind the revolutionary hearing implant has worn over $100 million in losses as a result of a product recall initiated last year.
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Written by Luke Hopewell on

At the time of publication, we had displayed an image that was not made by Cochlear. It was in fact a processor made by Advanced Bionics. This image has since been removed.

Cochlear, the Australian company behind the revolutionary hearing implant, has worn over $100 million in losses as a result of a product recall initiated last year.

The company announced at its results briefing that the recall, initiated in September 2010, had cost the company an estimated $138.8 million.

"This takes into account inventory write-downs, property, plant and equipment and intangible asset impairments, and warranty and other costs, which include factors such as estimated return rates for the affected units, unit replacement costs, consulting, logistical and administrative expenses directly associated with the recall," the company said in its accounts.

Cochlear triggered the recall after it found a higher than usual number of CI500 series were failing. Symptoms of failure included a gradual drop in implant performance before a complete failure of the unit. The recall was a global event for the company.

The faulty implants were replaced with a different product, the CI24RE implant.

Cochlear has since identified the problems with the Nucleus CI500 series and is still working on a fix.

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