Dell has begun what is reportedly the largest battery recall in the history of the IT industry after it emerged that the batteries carry a risk of going on fire if overheated.
The company said it plans to recall voluntarily 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries in co-operation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and other regulatory agencies around the world. The batteries were shipped to customers either with a laptop PC or as a replacement unit between the dates of 1 April 2004 and 18 July 2006. The cells in the batteries were manufactured by Sony, Dell added.
According to Dell, the batteries could overheat and consequently cause fire in “rare conditions”. Reports from the US show that six such incidents have already occurred and although some property was damaged, no one is believed to have been hurt as a result.
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; Dell Precision M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.
A spokesperson for Dell told siliconrepublic.com that the company could not say yet how many of the affected units were sold in Ireland. The computer maker has set up a website, at www.dellbatteryprogram.com, which has more detailed information about how to identify the batteries and how to return them. There is also a freephone number you can call at 00800 3033 4044. Dell said it would replace the battery packs free of charge but not the notebooks themselves.
By Gordon Smith