On Monday computer business Dell, Inc. stated it would be recalling 4.1 million Sony Corp.-made computer batteries due to their flammable nature. The batteries are said to have the potential to overheat and catch fire. The computer business worked out the recall with the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Dell spokespeople stated that the batteries eligible for the recall were those put in notebooks shipped between April 1, 2004 and July 18, 2006.
While the incidence of batteries actually catching fire is low, in some cases a short circuit could overheat the batteries and create smoke or even fire. These battery packs came with certain machines from the computer business Dell, including Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and some other workstation notebooks. Dell will launch a website with more specific model information and information about how to get free batteries from the computer business to replace those that may be faulty.
Spokespeople for Sony also stated that they have been investigating issues with these battery packs for over a month after reports began to come in about smoking computers. Lithium-ion batteries have been in production for a decade and are also used in cell phones and mp3 players. Sometimes the tiny metallic parts in these batteries short circuit the entire system and can be further affected by specific configurations. Sony is helping computer business Dell fund the recall, but there is no estimated amount on the table for the total cost of the endeavor or how it will be split between the companies.
Computer business Dell has struggled lately to keep sales up against rival Hewlett-Packard in particular, and this latest development does not help the cause. HP does not use Sony batteries, so the company has not been impacted by this news, however Apple Computer, Inc. is looking to make sure its products are safe.
Dell remains the world’s largest PC maker, but Monday’s recall is the third of Dell notebook batteries within the past five years. The Safety Commission has reported 339 different incidents involving lithium batteries catching fire in both cell phones and laptops, not simply Dell-based products, between 2003 and 2005.
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