Dell Recalls 4.1 Million Fire-Prone Notebook Batteries


Dell announced a recall of 4.1 million notebook computer batteries, warning users that it’s possible they could catch fire. Although company didn’t say the batteries would explode, it did admit they could “erupt in flames.” The batteries, made by Sony for Dell, were sold in notebooks between April, 2004 and July 18 of this year. Dell said the batteries in question were installed in 2.4 million laptops sold in the United States and 1.4 million elsewhere, the total accounting for about 18% of all of the notebooks Dell sold during that time.

Dell has received negative publicity lately about notebook batteries bursting into flames, with one especially high-profile and photographically-documented incident happening in Japan (see photo above). Making matters worse is a recent finding by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, citing 339 times when lithium and lithium-ion batteries either overheated, emitted smoke or exploded since 2003.

Although Dell didn’t estimate the cost of this recall, it could cost the company as much as $300 million or more. Sony confirmed that its batteries were the culprits, and said it was “financially supporting” Dell in the recall.

Dell Recalls Batteries Because of Fire Threat [New York Times]