Dell to Recall Millions of Laptop Batteries

 
 
By John G. Spooner  |  Posted 2006-08-14
 
 
 

Dell is recalling more than 4 million notebook PC batteries—an action it says is the largest battery recall thus far in computer history—following a small number of fires.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker on Aug. 14 announced that it was working with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commissionand other agencies worldwide to recall 4.1 million lithium-ion laptop batteries, sold between April 2004 and July 2006.

The company is suggesting customers whose laptops contain the batteries should discontinue by ejecting the packs from their laptops and to operate the packs using AC power until a replacement is received.

Dell issued the voluntary recall following its investigation into several fires involving its laptops.

The investigation—including a post-mortem on the now-famous machine that caught fire at an Osaka, Japan, business conference—led to the discovery of a manufacturing defect inside the cells, which were used to assemble battery the packs involved in the recall.

Notebook batteries and charging systems have historically been sensitive areas of the machines.

Improperly manufactured battery packs have lead to the recall of hundreds of thousands of battery packs by the likes of Apple Computer, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and IBM in recent years.

"We are erring on the side of safety" by recalling a large number of packs, said Anne Camden, a spokesperson for Dell in Round Rock, Texas.

"The affected batteries could overheat as a result of a short circuit," she said. "But the opportunity for the short to happen is very rare."

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