Dell recalls fire hazard laptops
Computer maker Dell is recalling 4.1 million laptop computer batteries because of a potential fire hazard, the company said on Monday.
The lithium ion batteries being recalled are installed in 2.7 million laptops sold in the US and 1.4 million sold overseas between April 2004 and July 18 of this year, Dell says.
"Under rare conditions, it is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could cause a risk of fire," says Dell, of Round Rock, Texas.
Dell says it is cooperating with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in conducting the recall. The federal agency described it as the largest recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry, according to published reports.
Dell urges customers to visit the firm's website at www.dellbatteryprogram.com beginning at 1am US Central Daylight Time on Tuesday or call toll-free at 1-866-342-0011, Monday through Friday, 8am to 5pm Central Daylight Time.
According to the CPSC website (www.cpsc.gov), lithium ion batteries have been cited in recalls of other laptop models, including computers from Hewlett-Packard and from Apple, both in California.
Dell made other voluntary recalls of 22,000 laptop batteries in December 2005, 284,000 in 2001 and 27,000 in 2000, according to the CPSC.
In those instances, Dell and the CPSC urged consumers to stop using the laptops’ batteries until they received a replacement. Lithium ion batteries are used in cellphones, camcorders, digital cameras and other consumer electronics products.
Dell reported six instances in which laptops overheated and caused fires since December of last year, although no one was injured in any of the incidents, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday. Dell says the overheating was caused by a manufacturing defect in the batteries made for it by Sony, of Japan.
The recalled batteries were sold with the following Dell notebook computers: Dell Latitude D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810; Inspiron 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400, E1705; and Dell Precision M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.
The batteries were also sold separately, including in response to service calls. ‘Dell’ and one of the following are printed on the batteries: ‘Made in Japan’ or ‘Made in China’ or ‘Battery Cell Made in Japan Assembled in China’, Dell says.