What impact will the Year 2000 bug have on household products?

Experts are divided on the potential impact that the millennium bug will have on household appliances. 

As the new millennium approaches, 

Banks and businesses are running out of time to try to avoid chaos on the first of January in the year two thousand.

Embedded chips are found in appliances around the home from washing machines to cookers.  A standard calendar timer chip is the technology responsible for all the panic as it is used in most appliances that need a clock. 

Computer experts disagree about whether a timer chip will affect the performance of appliances if the date function is not used. 

The problem is that most of these devices store dates in two digits.

Systems that are most likely to be affected are alarm and security systems. 

Consumers are now concerned about what comeback they have if their appliances start to act up. According to the insurance industry, that is the consumer's problem and not theirs. The Insurance Federation is advising people that if they are buying appliances, they should get a written guarantee that the product is Y2K compatible. 

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 28 September 1998. The reporter is Anne-Marie Smyth.