GCN Tech Blog

By GCN Staff

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Those flaming Dells were real

Contrary to what some news outlets have suggested, the reports that swept the blogosphere more than a month ago about Dell notebook batteries catching fire were not, in fact, fabrications or wild rumors. To its credit, Dell investigated the high-profile claims and yesterday issued one of the largest recalls the computer industry has ever seen.

According to the company, it's recalling as many as "4.1 million Dell-branded lithium-ion batteries with cells manufactured by Sony. Under rare conditions, it is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could cause a risk of fire."

The recall was coordinated with the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which has some pictures of representative batteries in its statement.

Dell's announcement goes on to say, "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.' The identification number for each battery appears on a white sticker. Customers should have this number available when they contact Dell to determine if their battery is part of the recall."

GCN knows it has a few of these notebooks in circulation, so we'll be checking the Web site or calling (866) 342-0011 to get replacements.

Check your fleet of laptops. In the meantime, the CPSC has this advice: "Consumers should stop using these recalled batteries immediately and contact Dell to receive a replacement battery. Consumers can continue to use the notebook computers safely by turning the system off, ejecting the battery, and using the AC adapter and power cord to power the system until the replacement battery is received."

Posted by Brad Grimes

Posted by Brad Grimes, Joab Jackson on Aug 15, 2006 at 9:39 AM


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