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Component counts and oversimplified reliability rules may lead to the conclusion that multilevel converters are less safe than two-level converters, just because they use more components. A better approach might be to consider that they use a different arrangement of components and also that the consequence of faults may be very different. This paper is focused on the study of the consequences of faults in hard-switching and soft-switching multicell converters. Solutions to minimize the consequences of major faults are described.