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[September 2022]

Beware of breakage of TV display! Cracks on the screen and wet can lead to expensive repair costs

TV sets are commonly used at home. More than five million sets are shipped per year in Japan. Current hot sellers are flat panel TV sets with liquid crystal or organic EL displays. The image resolution is getting higher and displays are becoming larger and thinner. Not only Japanese manufacturers but also overseas manufacturers have participated in the Japanese market.

In that context, PIO-NET* received 823 inquiries and complaints about breakage and malfunction of TV displays (551 about breakage, 272 about malfunction) in about five years from April 2017 to June 2022 (e.g. "The liquid crystal screen was cracked when I was away. The manufacturer says that the screen must have been hit by something, but I don't remember anything like that," "No picture was shown on TV and then I noticed cracks on the liquid crystal screen. According to the manufacturer, the repair is not covered by the warranty because the breakage was caused by external factors," "My child hit something against the screen and broke the brand-new TV. The repair is expensive and not covered by the warranty.")

Accordingly, NCAC decided to share information on test results related to TV screen breakage and on consumer questionnaire results.

Photo: TV set with a cracked screen
TV set with a cracked screen

  1. * PIO-NET is a database that collects information on inquiries concerning consumer affairs by linking NCAC with local consumer affairs centers and similar organizations across Japan via an online network.

TV structure

A common TV set roughly consists of the outer frame, the liquid crystal or organic EL panel and the control board. The larger the TV size becomes, the greater the percentage of the cost occupied by the panel. The panel is the liquid crystal or organic EL layer sandwiched between two glass substrates. Thin and precise panels are used to decrease the weight and to reflect more vivid picture.

Questionnaire and Test Results

Consumer questionnaire survey

NCAC conducted a questionnaire among consumers who experienced breakage or malfunction of TV displays.

  • Nearly 20% of the respondents thought that free repair would be provided during the warranty period regardless of the cause of the breakage or malfunction.
  • Nearly 20% of the respondents answered that they had seen cracks on the screen.
  • Eighty percent of the respondents did not know the cause of the breakage or malfunction.
  • The most common repair cost was between 10,000 yen and 50,000 yen. A few respondents answered that they had paid more than 200,000 yen.
  • About half of the respondents did not read precautions written on the instruction manual.
  • About 20% of the respondents did not know that the written warranty stated warranty conditions to be required even if within the warranty period.

Test on TV screen breakage and malfunction

  • When the impact was applied to the TV screen, sometimes the inside was broken more than the surface. When the TV was turned off, cracks on the screen were not visible with eyes.
  • Precautions are written on the instruction manual, for example "Do not hold or grip the display part when moving or installing the TV set."
  • There are vent holes and gaps on the surface to promote heat loss. Foreign objects and liquid can get in there.

Representation on container boxes and written warranties

  • Precautions and illustrations are written on the container boxes (e.g. "Fragile," "Right side up with care," "No impact," "Never overturn," "Never touch the screen.")
  • Written warranties state that repair service will be charged when the malfunction is caused by wrong use, relocation, transportation, dropping, fire or act of providence. One of them states that repair for a cracked screen is not included in the warranty.

Advice for consumers

  • When the impact is applied to the TV screen, the inside can be broken even if the surface is not damaged. Make sure no impact is given to the screen.
  • When you hire a contractor to move and install a TV set, turn on the TV to check if there's any abnormality with the presence of the contractor. After moving the TV set, check the function soon rather than leaving the device as it is.
  • Be sure to avoid foreign objects and liquid getting into the vent holes.
  • In general, the warranty does not cover repair of screen breakage caused by users' fault. Before buying a TV set, read the warranty carefully. If necessary, consider buying additional warranty and insurance to prepare for potential property damage.


  1. * Please note that the video includes a big sound.

Scene when the TV screen is hit by a handy cleaner
Video: Beware of cracks on the TV screen! (Japanese version)