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Canon printers think its ink cartridges are fake, but company has workarounds

The problem, impacting large multifunction printers, stems from the global chip shortage.

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Canon and other printer makers use chips to verify ink cartridges. 
PhotoPlus Magazine/Getty Images

Canon is feeling the impact of the global chip shortage that has led some Canon printer models to misread Canon's own toner cartridges as counterfeit or empty. 

Canon typically uses chips to verify that cartridges used in its printers are the company's own, as well as to do things like monitor toner levels. On Wednesday, Canon USA confirmed that it's shipping chipless toner cartridges for some of its multifunction printers, but it stressed that there's no shortage of the cartridges themselves, just the chips that would normally go inside them. 

In a support message on its websites in Europe and German, reported earlier Wednesday by USA Today, Canon offered up workarounds for customers impacted by the printer problems. 

The company's website lists 19 models, all large multifunction printers, that are impacted. The company says print quality isn't affected by the missing component and states that only the "detection of the toner level may be impaired."

These printers are among the latest products impacted by the chip shortage that has hit everything from cars to phones to game consoles. While the supply chain continues to cause disruptions, manufacturers are working on solutions to avoid future complications.