Mozilla is rushing out a release of the Firefox browser to fix a bug that has been preventing some web surfers from using saved passwords this week.

The bug lies in the recently-released Firefox 3.0.2 software. It affects Firefox users who use certain types of characters in their saved usernames and passwords, such as letters with accents, blogged Mike Beltzner, director of Firefox development.

Affected users are unable to access their existing saved passwords or create new ones.

Developers started hearing about the bug soon after the Firefox 3.0.2 release shipped, with most complaints coming from European users, Beltzner said. "It's not that widespread," he added. "We don't expect it to be affecting many people."

The Firefox quality assurance team is now testing a bug-fix and expects to release the 3.0.3 update early next week, he said. No other bugs are expected to be patched in this update.

The 3.0.2 update includes nearly a dozen security fixes for the open-source browser, six of which are rated as critical.