DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

Threaded View
Dell, the computer-maker whose quality control and sales have been
SLIDING for 2 years, issues a recall of Sony-made laptop batteries
following fires and fears!


"Fire Hazard Causes Dell To Recall Laptop Batteries"

"Action Affects Over 4 Million Devices"

By Sara Kehaulani Goo and Annys Shin
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, August 15, 2006; A01

Dell Inc. said yesterday that it would recall 4.1 million lithium-ion
batteries for laptop computers after several dangerous incidents in
which the batteries burst into flames and damaged other property.

The move by the world's largest PC maker marks one of the biggest
safety recalls in the history of consumer electronics and serves as a
setback for Dell, which has been hit by stiff competition and steep
customer-service costs, causing earnings to tumble and its stock price
to lag in recent months. The recall is also likely to intensify reviews
underway at agencies that have been studying the dangers of battery
packs commonly used in many electronic devices, from iPods to portable
DVD players and cellphones.

The National Transportation Safety Board last month held a hearing
about the safety of lithium batteries on airplanes after a fire
occurred Feb. 7 on a cargo jet. The UPS plane, which was carrying
lithium-ion batteries, among other items, caught fire in flight and
landed safely in Philadelphia. Investigators have not announced the
cause of the fire and have not made any safety recommendations about
the transportation of such batteries.

In a separate incident, a Dell laptop ignited during a conference
several months ago in Japan. Digital photos from the event posted at
online news sites show flames shooting from the laptop, as if an
explosion had occurred, leaving burn marks on the green tablecloth
under the computer. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, which
said Dell brought the situation to the agency's attention under federal
guidelines, said the company has documented half a dozen such

"We feel we have determined what the problem is and that problem has
been corrected. Considering the volumes of lithium-ion batteries used
in the world today, not just in notebook computers . . . the incidents
involving some kind of overheating are really quite rare," said Jess
Blackburn, a Dell spokesman. "We certainly have our customer safety at
the front of our concerns."

The recalled batteries, components of which were made by Sony Corp.,
were used in several types of Dell Latitude, Inspiron, Precision and
XPS models sold from April 2004 through July 2006 through the company's
catalogue, Web site or over the phone. Consumers are advised to stop
using the batteries immediately and contact Dell for a replacement at , which the company said would be
online as of today. Customers may continue to use the computers by
turning them off, ejecting the battery and using the power cord

Sony said the recall would have a financial impact on the company but
declined to discuss details. "Sony is very sensitive and concerned
about the quality of our products and safety of our products," said
Rick Clancy, a Sony spokesman. "We are supporting Dell's recall."

The problem of lithium-ion batteries overheating is not new, and
consumer groups and the aviation safety communities have long been
concerned. Battery packs contain cells that sometimes contain
microscopic metal pieces, which can become overheated when they come
into contact with other components. Usually, when a battery overheats,
it causes the computer to shut down. In a few cases, however, the
battery has ignited. No one has died in such an accident, the Consumer
Product Safety Commission said.

"Once the battery reaches incredibly high temperatures, it doesn't have
a mechanism to vent heat or cut itself off," commission spokesman Scott
Wolfson said. The Dell recall stemmed from a quality-control issue, he

In an incident last month, Thomas Forqueran, 62, of Arizona, was
loading his truck and smelled smoke. Flames were shooting out of his
Dell Inspiron laptop, which he had placed on the passenger side of the
vehicle, and spread as the fire ignited ammunition that was also in the
truck. The truck, a 1966 Ford F-250 passed down from his father, was
destroyed by fire.

"I see Dell commercials half a dozen times a night, saying 'What can we
build for you today?' " Forqueran said. "And I say, 'Grandpa's truck.'

Consumer electronics companies play down the safety hazard of
lithium-ion batteries, saying that such incidents are rare. Sony said
there have been only "a small number" of fires linked to lithium-ion
batteries. Sales of the batteries are rising rapidly, the Portable
Rechargeable Battery Association said. It said that 2 billion
lithium-ion cells, used in making the batteries, are to be sold this

The recall yesterday was not the first for Dell, which has recalled
more than 330,000 batteries in the past six years because of
overheating problems.

The most recent recall came in December and involved about 22,000
notebook computer batteries. Dell had received three reports of
batteries overheating. No injuries were reported. In May 2001, Dell
voluntarily recalled about 284,000 batteries, warning they could
"become very hot, release smoke, and possibly catch fire," a safety
commission news release said.

Seven months earlier, Dell had recalled about 27,000 batteries, saying
they could "short circuit, even when the battery is not in use."

Problems with overheating rechargeable batteries have led to recalls at
several other well-known laptop computer retailers, including
Hewlett-Packard Co. and Apple Computer Inc.

In documents, the NTSB detailed several dozen fires in cargo shipments
and on planes that could be linked to various kinds of batteries. The
Federal Aviation Administration also is reviewing the issue. In 2004,
rechargeable lithium batteries in a plastic case started a fire during
cargo loading at a FedEx hub in Memphis. In March and June 2005,
packages of rechargeable lithium batteries caught fire while being

Staff writer Del Quentin Wilber contributed to this report.

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

At least their honest about it.  They're not the only vendor to use these

Wouldn't it be better to blame Sony, the company that built batteries that
catch on fire?

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!



You quoted all 129 lines worth of a msge just to post two short

Microsoft* and other "powers that be" are likely far more to blame
than you personally, though.

*- What Outlook Express has done to Usenet...

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

But, according to the man interview for about 5 minutes on MSNBC  this
morning, they aren't  responding very well to contacts made about resulting
fires. His burned up his computer, his truck, his ATV, and other extraneous
possessions and he can't seem to get any one from Dell to talk to him.

Does this sound familiar?

The can't get anyone from Dell to talk to him part, that is.

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

this has already been posted earlier, but thanks.

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Please show me a link that says sales and quality control are down or did
you mistake this newsgroup for

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Batteries with low internal resistance are a fire hazard in general,
should anything short across them.  It will get hot enough to ignite
something in contact with it.

When I power some device with even NiMH D cells in some external battery
pack, I always include a fuse in the circuit, lest the wires heat to
glowing if something shorts out.

Still, lithium battery packs seem to be at fault more often than NiMH.
I don't know if that's just general population or something intrinsic
to lithium cells.

Ron Hardin

On the internet, nobody knows you're a jerk.

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Lithium-ion battery packs include many more protective systems than just a
fuse, and the cells contain a PTC element (efectively a self replacing
fuse).  Unfortunately, in the case of the subject batteries, it seems that
the fault lays inside the cells themselves (i.e. on the wrong side of all
the protective devices).  Current information  to hand states that small
particles of metal are being released when the cases are crimped in the
later stages of the manufacturing process.  These metal particles then short
circuit the cells.

Both lithium-ion and NiMH batteries are a problem because both contain
highly flammble substances in the their make up.  Lithium-ion suffers from
an extra disadvantage, because under adverse conditions, they also generate
both their own oxygen and lithium metal which spontaneously ignites on
contact with that oxygen.  The newer types of lithium-ion-polymer batteries
are reducing the proportion of flammable electrolyte somewhat.

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

It's neither their sales nor quality that have been sliding, but their
customer service (or at least the customers' perception of it).

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

See the UK plotters had it wrong. Forget about the peroxide-based stuff.
Just bring your Dell laptop computer onboard. :)

Quoted text here. Click to load it
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: DELL CELLS Give Laptop Users HELL!

Quoted text here. Click to load it

Maybe that's why they didn't allow Laptops after the
event went public :)

remove 999 in order to email me

Site Timeline