Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Dell Issues Laptop Battery Recall 170

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the seat-warmers dept.
zoogies writes "The New York Times is reporting that Dell is now issuing a laptop battery recall — for notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18, 2006. According to the article, 'The recalled batteries were used in 2.7 million computers sold in the United States and 1.4 million sold overseas. The total is about 18 percent of Dell's notebook production during the period in question.' This seems to go along with a June Slashdot story on an exploding Dell laptop, and a July Slashdot story on a Dell investigation into its exploding laptops. Curiously, there is nothing yet on Dell Support's product recall page about this latest recall."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Dell Issues Laptop Battery Recall

Comments Filter:
  • by WilliamSChips (793741) <full,infinity&gmail,com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:00PM (#15907717) Journal
    Apple did this like three years ago. Dell is so behind the times!
    • by Walt Dismal (534799) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:17PM (#15907810)
      Dell can't be behind the times. Why, it seems like only yesterday they announced: "Don't pour explosive liquids on your laptop while in flight, our batteries are bad enough as is. Praise be to Allah." Although I'm not sure what they meant.
      • Dell can't be behind the times.

        Actually they had a battery recall program [dellbatteryprogram.com](that still hasn't ended) that started in Fall of 2004. This appears to be a new battery recall, but I bet it's the same old issues just becoming worse due to higher battery capacity with poor construction of the cells.

        In fact, this may be the same recall that Apple had. Most Li-Ion consumer battery cells in the world are made by two or three companies. In order to cut costs, they make mistakes that affect all downstream manu
    • Assault and Battery (Score:5, Informative)

      by Ruff_ilb (769396) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:29PM (#15907866) Homepage
      Actually, Apple is involved just as much as Dell is. The same division of Sony that manufactured these batteries for Dell also produced many batteries for Apple laptops. Although the issue has already been brought up to Apple, they haven't said whether or not they're going to recall as well, merely saying that they would "look into" the issue.

      (http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/corporaten ews/view/224917/1/.html)

      Given Apple's many battery woes, a recall on their part also seems likely if this is indeed the same battery batch/design.

      On the other hand, this is yet another one the conspiracy theorists can blame on Sony (/tinfoilhat on)
      • Good point. Of course Apple's had two previous battery recalls (not including the Macbook Pro non-flamey death ones)... and Dell's had one before this recently, IIRC.

        You just can't get good battery support these days. ;)

        Apple will recall batteries if they need to... I mean, they recalled Some Macbook Pro batteries because they sucked... (and posed no danger to life or "jewels" heheh)

        It is interesting that Sony's having QC issues in certain segments of their manufacturing of late... perhaps their corner-cut
      • by vought (160908) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:40PM (#15907919)
        Sony was the designer and
        build partner for Apple's original PowerBook 5300 battery, which would have been the first mass-marketed laptop with an L-Ion battery.

        Introduced in the fall of 1995, only about 1500 of the powerBook 5300 units had
        shipped when the battery - again, designed and built by Sony -
        caught fire in an Apple lab. A separate overheating incident at
        Apple later that week caused the company to pull all the stops to
        recall and destroy the Sony L-Ion cells. Customers all received two NiMH
        batteries as compensation.

        Apple's new flagship laptop started life with a misstep because
        of Sony - who Apple never explicitly named in the press.

        What's Sony's problem? Have they figured L-Ion batteries out in
        the past 11 years? Apparently not. no word on whether UPS is going to seek damages from Sony/Dell for the cargo jet they suspect was lost to an L-Ion fire in February.
        • There were LiIon batteries in laptops before 1995. Dell had an exclusive with Sony in 92 or 93.

          http://www.answers.com/topic/lithium-ion-battery [answers.com]

          That article claims that Toshiba was the first in 1993 but Dell predated Toshiba as I recall. Apple was nowhere near first.
        • by Yvan256 (722131)
          What's
          with
          the
          poorly-formatted
          posts?

          Are
          people
          posting
          from
          their
          cellphones
          or
          something?

          Tip: take care of the paragraphs and let the browsers handle the linebreaks... Thanks.
          • holy shit I only just now realized that the paragraph tag is allowed!

            Man, you wouldn't believe how many times I'd be Previewing my post just so I wouldn't look like a re-re. I'm saying this in all seriousness right now but thank you for cluing me in to the wonderful world of anglyBracket P slashAnglyBracket. And I for one welcome my new Allowed HTML knowledgeable overlord. To anwser your question though, sometimes it's good to space the comment out so that more people will see it, makes karma whoring that

      • YES! another conspiracy involving Sony
        "exploding" Dells and Apples using batteries many by Sony, when's the last time you heard about an "exploding" VAIO? or even heard of someone using a VAIO. One could claim it's some anti-competition plotting to scare people away from Dells and Macs. And Homeland Security scaring people away from the Lenovo. Something about the Windows flag going from red, green, blue and yellow to red, red, red and red. With Dell, Apple and Lenovo out of the way all people will have to
      • The same division of Sony that manufactured these batteries for Dell...

        ...this is yet another one the conspiracy theorists can blame on Sony


        Yeah, first they rootkit my laptop, now they want to destroy the evidence.

        Just imagine the hilarity that would have ensured had one of their batteries caught fire aboard an airplane.

    • On somewhere news in England, Dell Laptops are now banned on airplanes. Actually you can bring your Dell laptop on the plane but the battery is now allowed!!!
      • On somewhere news in England, Dell Laptops are now banned on airplanes. Actually you can bring your Dell laptop on the plane but the battery is NOT allowed!!! (Can't edit my own comment!)
        • I'm surprised your deception-through-misinformation post was moderated up.

          In the U.K., I believe ALL portable electronics are forbidden in carry-on luggage. Laptops and all other electronics must be in checked baggage. (This is for the same reason the U.S. is banning all liquids in carry-on luggage.)
          • You still can't take liquids with you but can take into the plane beverages bought in the airport past security (I leve how wise this is to the experts. No, better no: if you think liquids are an issue, this policy is nonsense).

      • Technically correct... all computers have been (were, actually) banned. So the statement "No Dell computers are allowed on flights from the UK is correct." One could also say, that "All computers running OS X have been banned from flights"
  • Hehe (Score:4, Funny)

    by Fred Porry (993637) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:01PM (#15907719)
    for notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18, 2006
    Cant be that many...hehe.
    • Well, from the summary, that would be about 4 million units in roughly two years, and consists of 18% of the total production, which means Dell was selling more than 20 million laptops during that period.
  • by Ctrl-Z (28806) <timNO@SPAMtimcoleman.com> on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:01PM (#15907721) Homepage Journal
    Dell has set up a website at http://www.dellbatteryprogram.com [dellbatteryprogram.com] to check your laptop model.
  • Sony Batteries (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Trevahaha (874501) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:01PM (#15907723)
    At least they're being open about the fact that Sony manufactured these defected batteries. I wonder if other devices using these batteries are going to start exploding as well?
    • That's the question that I've been wondering the whole time. As we can see Dell doesn't manufacture the batteries so not only was all this crapping on Dell not really fair but you can bet there are a bunch of other companies who use the same stuff. IIRC the batteries in the recall Apple did a few years back were Sony built as well.

      Given how many batteries we are talking about here the chances of anyone having thier laptop fail like this are probably the same as having thier laptop getting hit by lightni

    • It's a tactic from Sony. Sell the exploding batteries to Dell and Apple, watch until they start doing recalls, profit :)
      • Re:Sony Batteries (Score:4, Informative)

        by dgatwood (11270) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:59PM (#15907981) Journal

        Problem is that companies like Apple and Dell probably have contract terms that stipulate a maximum (typical) expected failure rate above which the component manufacturer must cover some or all of the repair costs. While some of these costs will still probably be borne by Dell, odds are Sony will bear the brunt of the costs unless the folks at Dell are asleep at the switch.

        If you have Sony stock, now would probably be a good time to sell some of it. :-)

        • I was joking, but in any case you do have a point.

          However, given the amount of money that Sony has, this battery recall won't cost them anything but a few peanutes of their lunch money. Bad PR probably, but still, unless the media decide to put it up as scandal, this kind of thing goes under the Average Joe's radar.
        • Re:Sony Batteries (Score:2, Interesting)

          by mjohnsond (848603)
          Take the number of vehicles in the field, (A), and multiply it by the probable rate of failure, (B), then multiply the result by the average out-of-court settlement, (C). A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
    • So what exactly does direct mean?
    • Re:Sony Batteries (Score:2, Informative)

      by dartarrow (930250)
      from TFA: The safety agency said the batteries were not unique to Dell, meaning that other companies using Sony batteries may also have to issue recalls. Sony has sold its batteries to most of the major computer makers.

      I think that's a yes.

      also here [ucdavis.edu] shows that sony batts have been problematic before. I also remember a recall (3+ years ago) for sony camcorders due a battery leakage. One cam apparently caught fire.
    • I own a Sony Vaio. I probably have nothing to worry about. But what really fucking pisses me off is that Sony, in their "wisdom" (or propriatary nature), have locked the laptop to only accept official Sony batteries.

      So not only am I stuck with having to use a (no doubt) overpriced Sony battery, but I can't even buy from an alternative manufacturer a battery that's less likely to explode.

      The vendor lock-in wouldn't be so offensive if I knew that Sony at least built a quality product. Fuckers.
      • Re:Sony Batteries (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Andy Dodd (701)
        The sad thing is, that Sony is probably the best manufacturer of Li-Ions you can buy from.

        They get so much bad press for their batteries simply because of their market dominance in the battery market. The catastrophic failure rate for batteries from other manufacturers is much higher, it just happens that many of them (such as cheap knockoff cell phone batteries) are not as low profile as exploding Dells, partly due to the reduced size of cell phone batteries.

        The simple fact of the matter is that lithium i
      • Other than being evil, there are good reasons to "lock" the battery to the device. Lithium batteries can't be treated like ordinary alkaline or nicad batteries. For safety reasons, the battery subsystem is designed as an integrated system. The charging and safety circuits, some of which may be in the battery case, are designed for a known and specific lithium battery. A third-party battery that uses a different lithium battery or doesn't have the same integrated charging and safety circuits, can be unsafe.
  • by ezratrumpet (937206) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:02PM (#15907732) Journal
    This large recall will cost them millions. Continued damage to the Dell brand because of laptops aflame would eventually cost hundreds of millions of dollars in reputation. While Dell may have other problems, the battery recall will help them assuage consumer fears about Dell product safety.
  • by brunes69 (86786) <slashdot AT keirstead DOT org> on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:12PM (#15907788) Homepage
    From the official Dell press release.... [dell.com]

    Customers should contact Dell to determine if their notebook computer battery is part of this recall. Please visit the firm's Web site at www.dellbatteryprogram.com [dellbatteryprogram.com] beginning at 1 a.m. Central Daylight Time Aug. 15 or call toll-free at 1-866-342-0011, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Central Time. Customers may 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. Customers can also write to: Dell Inc., Attn: Battery Recall, 9701 Metric Blvd., Austin, Texas 78758.

    • Customers may 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.

      This lets us know that operating on plug-in power without the battery to serve as a filter is a safe and manufacturer approved operating mode for this model of laptop. The machine is not dependent on the battery and can be run for long periods without it.

      That is good for alternative energy users, th
      • The poor man's blade. Those Pentium III laptops with 20 gig drives work pretty well for a lot of stuff. DNS, DHCP, Router, etc... But if you are into saving power, get a WRT54G and load DD-WRT or OpenWRT on it. It will do all that stuff also and be a lot cooler and quieter.
    • Am I the only one who does this, anyway? I mean laptop batteries are ridiculously useless. If you're doing anything on the computer, especially with the DVD drive, they only last an hour or three at most. Besides, it's not like an electrical outlet is all that hard to find. I hear that they're even including standard 120V outlets in a lot of passenger cars now!

      Getting rid of that useless battery saves tons of weight (not that laptops are heavy these days), but they also save a lot of heat on y
      • You don't need a new car to get a 120v outlet, stop into any truckstop on a major highway and you can get a little box that will plug into your cigarette lighter and give you a 150-200w 120v outlet (enough for nearly any laptop) and it will only cost you $25 or so. They've been around for years, and can be used for other things, too. Running off your car battery you can watch a couple of DVDs and still have enough juice to start your car with no trouble at all.

        Rig one up with a big fat deep cycle RV or moto
        • I can't believe you're taking DC, converting it to AC where you're then plugging in an AC to DC convertor again... why no DC-DC convertor then??? a simple 12volt to Xvolt is WHAT you need... I know laptop manufacturers are cheapskates, but surely it is not beyond the whit of man to provide BOTH an AC to DC adaptor (for normal use) AND a cigarette lighter socket adaptor for use in vehicles such as cars/boats/whatever in the box with the laptop...
          • Here's where economies of scale come into play.

            My IBM thinkpad here takes 16V at 4.5A (max). So, I'd need to buy an adapter that could supply a fairly consistent 16V to my thinkpad. Not to mention that I couldn't just buy a "generic laptop adapter" unless it had a whole bunch of plugs, because most differing laptops take different adapter plugs (models are even different within manufacturers.)

            I'm not sure what one of these things would run. However - I can buy a DC-AC inverter for 15$ or so at a truck st
          • Car power systems aren't particularly well regulated, and DC devices range from 5v to 30v+ and have a myriad of different connectors. So you still need a DCDC converter for each device. That's one additional cable per. With an inverter, you spend $20 once and you're done.
    • Dell batteries subject to the recall :

      1K055 C5340 D6024 JD616 U5867 X5333 3K590
      C5446 D6025 JD617 U5882 X5875 59474 C6269
      F2100 KD494 W5915 X5877 6P922 C6270 F5132
      M3006 X5308 Y1333 C2603 D2961 GD785 RD857
      X5329 Y4500 C5339 D5555 H3191 TD349 X5332
      Y5466

      The bottom or side of the dell battery will have
      a serial number in the form of:

      JP-111111-22222-333-4444

      You should look for the number in the [111111]
      section -- e.g.

      JP-A1K055-22222-333-4444 .. would be an example of a
  • I only have to wait 20 business days for a replacement for U4873.

  • Bah (Score:1, Offtopic)

    by ArchieBunker (132337)
    Lithium is nothing compared to these two alkaline metals

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-213426665 4801392897&q=alkaline+metals&hl=en [google.com]

  • Dell sold or provided these batteries with the notebook computers, as part of a service replacement, and as individual units from April 1, 2004, through July 18, 2006.
    And I thought OMG, Ponies! was over the top. This is crazy.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Maybe it's about time that Li-Ion Batteries are totally replaced. Not only are they expensive, but they are so unreliable and dangerous. So bad that one of these days it will catch fire and actually kill someone or a few people. Maybe they should go with NiMH from now on until something better comes along.
    • Pretty incredible things these are -- all the advantages of Li-poly with none of the stability problems. www.a123systems.com

      Right now they are what powers the Dewalt 36V power tools, and you can pick up slightly-overpriced hobbyist assemblies at www.a123racing.com. Valence also makes something similar, perhaps a bit more famous for being in the Segway, called Saphion, but doesn't seem to direct-market them.
  • Dude, you bought a bomb!
    • No wonder they don't want you taking these things on airplanes anymore...

      Actually, more importantly, people HAVE been taking these things on airplanes. If the same components could be used to make a bomb, WHY THE HELL were they ever allowed on airplanes in the first place?
    • Re:Dude! (Score:4, Funny)

      by Soko (17987) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:29PM (#15908054) Homepage
      Dude, you bought a bomb!

      Now, why did I first read that as "Dude, you bought a bong!" ?

      Soko
      • Re:Dude! (Score:4, Funny)

        by FSWKU (551325) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:56PM (#15908145)
        Dude, you bought a bomb!
        Now, why did I first read that as "Dude, you bought a bong!" ?

        Because you've been hanging around the stoner Dell guy too long?
        • Because you've been hanging around the stoner Dell guy too long?

          Oh man, you don't know how bad it got...

          So I was posting on Slashdot while hitting a bong with the Dell dude, on his laptop, when it was all, like, 'beep beep be - BOOM!!'

          and I was, like, "Unh?"

          It DEVOURED my bong.

          It was a really good bong.

          And then I had to smoke it again, and it wasn't as good, because I had to do it fast.

          It was....

          a bummer.

          My name is Ellen Feiss, and I'm a student.

  • When the story first broke this evening, bloggers wrote about it and noted the fact that their www.dellbatteryprogram.com [dellbatteryprogram.com] was not up and running yet. Yes, I was among those bloggers.

    Soon after the Dell battery posts started appearing, someone from Dell corporate was following Technorati and visited my blog. Not too long after that, Dell responded on their blog [direct2dell.com] with details about the recall. And they even mentioned that the recall Web site will be live after midnight Central Time tonight.
  • After thier failed rootkit installation they just decided a better route would be
    to destroy every computer starting with laptops. They probly gave dell a good deal
    to get the most coverage. Next they will be in the desktop power supply market and
    those will start going up in flames as well.
  • if you have to replace the battery. http://www.notebookforums.com/showthread.php?t=946 00&highlight=on+fire [notebookforums.com] - Fugly, but how prophetic!

    For now a free skin is available only "With the purchase of blah...blah...blah" http://www.dell.com/content/products/category.aspx /notebooks?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs [dell.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Another hot item from Dell!
  • by Zobeid (314469) on Monday August 14, 2006 @10:58PM (#15907974)
    Stories like this make me want a Tesla Roadster somewhat less than I did before. It's powered by 6,800 Li-ion cells.

    Naah, who am I kidding? I'd still give my left kidney for one. Flames are great, maybe we could channel them out the tail like the old Batmobile.
    • Right, because who ever heard of a gasoline-powered car catching on fire?
    • Stories like this make me want a Tesla Roadster somewhat less than I did before. It's powered by 6,800 Li-ion cells.

      Ahhhhhh, but it's based on the Lotus Elise. Starting to feel a bit better?

      Flames are great. . .

      And about $30,000 of the price is for batteries that don't blow up and a computer monitored liquid cooling system, all mounted in a shockproof housing.

      If only they didn't have a 5 year shelf life (resulting in an approximately 90% depreciation of the car value), weigh half a ton even when "empty" and
    • With a car that fast, who needs an airplane to crash and burn beyond recognition? I wonder if every cell will have a Sony mark on it.

      It's a good thing the Authorities at Homeland Security are keeping us safe by putting all the electronic devices in people's luggage, where they will be well insulated and impossible to put out. Thanks guys, I really was afraid of some asshole lighting my airplane on fire before you saved me.

  • by NosTROLLdamus (979044) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:16PM (#15908018) Journal
    Two years ago, I was using a Dell laptop running ubuntu linux. I let my small, impalsyed child play a game of Tux Racer. To my horror, the laptop's battery exploded, killing my child to death in front of my eyes.

    People say that linux is ready for the desktop, but when is it ready to stop killing children?

  • from report (Score:4, Interesting)

    by john_uy (187459) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:16PM (#15908019)
    the same sony batteries are used by hp and apple too. so do we expect recalls from hp and apple or is it a different issue where the batteries explode on dell laptops only?
  • Sheesh!

    2 years ago I recieved notice that there was a recall on my dell laptop's power supply and now the batteries are bad too?

    In fact, if I remember correctly I do believe that Slashdot was what tipped me off to the previous recall....

    Here is the link
    http://hardware.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=04/10/ 08/163200 [slashdot.org]
  • From the Article (Score:4, Interesting)

    by mkiwi (585287) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:19PM (#15908029)
    FTA:
    The safety agency said the batteries were not unique to Dell, meaning that other companies using Sony batteries may also have to issue recalls. Sony has sold its batteries to most of the major computer makers.

    This leads me to wonder if some of the MacBook Pro batteries were made by Sony.

  • by aquatone282 (905179) on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:31PM (#15908064)

    . . . and a moderator told me to format my C: drive and re-load Windows XP.

    </sarcasm>

  • by Howzer (580315) * <grabshot@hotmai l . c om> on Monday August 14, 2006 @11:34PM (#15908074) Homepage Journal
    Issues like this are fascinating for what they reveal about people's preconceptions and habits.

    On the face of it, it's simply a "large company recalls large number of items after small (relatively) number of incidents" story.

    But look at all the Dell, Sony, Apple, etc. etc. conspiracy theorists and wingnuts come out of the woodwork! So much blaming, everyone certain that their already pre-selected villain company is trying to end civilisation as we know it.

    Come on, people. This is News for Nerds. It's not News for Mouthbreathers, although sometimes it's hard to tell the difference.

    Batteries have been causing fires forever. Even the old D-cells you stick in your torch will self-immolate given the right conditions. Think about it. Acid. Metal. Electricity. It's not amazing there are fires, it's amazing there are so few. Laptops have been catching on fire since the very first luggables rolled off the line at Compaq, IBM, etc.

    So let's just keep this in perspective. If you want to jump up and down about unsafe products, then go nuts about SUVs. Oh, and don't think that starting your post "I used to like Company X but now..." makes you any more of an intellectual and any less of a wingnut. Just read the numbers again. How many batts recalled? And how many incidents again? Jeez... Move on, nothing to see here...
    • by twitter (104583) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @01:23AM (#15908363) Homepage Journal

      look at all the Dell, Sony, Apple, etc. etc. conspiracy theorists and wingnuts come out of the woodwork!

      Wingnuts like former Dell tech, Robert Day? Did you read the article? You might have caught this little piece:

      Although Dell told the agency that only six incidents had occurred, a reporter viewed almost 100 photos of melted notebooks that were returned to the company from 2002 to 2004. The photos, from a Dell database, were supplied by a former Dell technician, Robert Day, who said such damage was more of a common thing than they are letting on. As many as several hundred a year were returned. Mr. Day said, I did see so many pallets of stuff coming in that they had to use my lab for overflow storage.

      Did you also catch the little bit about FIVE previous battery fires on airplanes in the last two years? One in a UPS jet destroyed the plane after landing. One had to be chucked out before take off. The other three FAA cases were not so interesting, except for the fact that smoking batteries now placed in cargo holds will take the plane down instead of being contained because the Department of Homeland Security is saving us all from exploding laptops. Do some research on the gruesome details of the ValueJet crash sometime. It was caused by a fire in the cargo hold and people were really outraged at the that someone would put an obvious fire risk down in the cargo.

      If you want to jump up and down about unsafe products, then go nuts about SUVs.

      That's a good idea too, but it has nothing to do with the issue, which is an obviously flawed product being sold for two years. SUVs do not have such obvious flaws for the most part and when they do, a recall happens.

      Perspective is that no one's life is less important than company profits and you will get caught. When there's a clear problem, like hundreds of melted laptops a year, you need to act. The problem is not going to go away until it's fixed. When a third party does something as simple as taking an xray to identify your problem for you, you look very bad.

      The story was well researched and things look very bad for both Dell and Sony here. The recall is a good idea but it sounds like it's coming a year late. It will take care of 4.1 million fire hazards.

      • Um, yeah, let's all accuse each other of not reading the article:

        a fire that was detected as a United Parcel Service cargo plane began its descent into Philadelphia in February. Though a cause of that fire, which consumed and destroyed the plane after it landed, has not been determined, lithium-ion batteries are suspected. No one was hurt. (emphasis mine)

        I didn't say it wasn't a problem. Did you catch the bit where I said all batteries can catch fire?

        Dell made a $300 million recall, Sony is doing the honou

        • Did you catch the bit where I said all batteries can catch fire?

          Can catch fire and are catching fire are different things.

          Dell made a $300 million recall, Sony is doing the honourable thing, and your comment is "look[s] very bad for Dell and Sony". The first fire was April last year, and you go on to say "...a year late."

          For some reason, you don't get it. When the former Dell tech said hundreds per year, he's talking about something that's been going on for more than a year. He also implies that thi

      • Did you also catch the little bit about FIVE previous battery fires on airplanes in the last two years? One in a UPS jet destroyed the plane after landing. One had to be chucked out before take off. The other three FAA cases were not so interesting, except for the fact that smoking batteries now placed in cargo holds will take the plane down instead of being contained because the Department of Homeland Security is saving us all from exploding laptops. Do some research on the gruesome details of the ValueJe

      • ValuJet Flight 592 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Savage-Rabbit (308260)

        Do some research on the gruesome details of the ValueJet crash sometime. It was caused by a fire in the cargo hold and people were really outraged at the that someone would put an obvious fire risk down in the cargo.

        While I agree with you in principle, they have been negligent here even though they are not the only ones to have these battery problems, but let's still be a little fair to Dell. If I recall correctly the ValuJet Flight 592 crash was due to ValuJet management outsourcing work to a maintenance c

      • Perspective is that no one's life is less important than company profits and you will get caught. When there's a clear problem, like hundreds of melted laptops a year, you need to act. The problem is not going to go away until it's fixed. When a third party does something as simple as taking an xray to identify your problem for you, you look very bad.

        Well. That just doesn't make business sense.

        Company profits are indeed far more important than your life. Shareholders will authorize anything to keep those
  • That many? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Aokubidaikon (942336)
    ...notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18, 2006

    Even if 99% of people who Dell laptop during that period hears about the recall and actually exchanges their batteries (highly unlikely) there will still be 41000 unsafe Dell laptops out there.
    Expect to read more about Dell laptops exploding in the months to come...
  • That same month [July], a Dell notebook in the cab of a pickup parked alongside Lake Mead in Nevada caught fire, igniting ammunition in the glove box and then the gas tanks. The truck exploded. "A few minutes later and we'd have been coming up out of the canyon when the notebook blew up," said Thomas Forqueran, owner of the laptop and truck. "Somebody is going to wind up getting killed."

    Lithium-ion batteries won't tolerate high heat. Leaving them in a parked vehicle on a summer day in the Nevada desert can

    • People either don't see or ignore those sorts of warnings. I don't see a warning like that on my 6 month old Dell. If it is molded into the case bottom I will probably never see it, if the warning is on the battery pack I may see it when I check to see if it is subject to recall.

      As it is currently the middle of summer in the nothern hemisphere, I suspect that in the past month a large number of laptops were exposed to temperatures well above 140F when they were left in closed vehicles that were parked in t
  • by jkburges (991357) on Tuesday August 15, 2006 @12:21AM (#15908204)
    My girlfriend's comment is that she likes having a Dell laptop, as it keeps her lap warm, kinda like having a cat sitting on her lap haha.

    Well, so long as it doesn't explode (I haven't heard of any exploding cats), then we will both be happy.
  • explosive batteries are a feature.
  • Owning a Dell laptop myself, I'm glad they did this.

    Did anyone else notice this in the TFA (emphasis added)?

    "Dell, the world's largest PC maker, said the lithium-ion batteries were made by Sony and were installed in notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18 of this year."

    Sony must've really upset the karma gods or something recently. I'd be afraid for all the PSP owners out there.
  • Personally I like this link much better: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/15/technology/15bat tery.html?ex=1313294400&en=af57f2af347e0f52&ei=508 8&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

    I'm not sure whether that picture is the scariest thing I've ever seen or the funniest thing I've ever seen. That guy looks like he's about to get his shotgun and head for a Dell executive.
  • Seriously, no offense to retards meant, but did the folks at Dell eat paint chips growing up?

    The web site they're directing people to is dellbatteryprogram.com. Any wonder why phishing is such a problem? What's wrong with directing people to dell.com?

    If Dell has dellbatteryprogram.com for battery problems, why woulnd't PayPal have giveawayyourpaypalinfototherussianmafia.com?

    Seriously, the best defense against phishing is only use bank.com for your bank, creditcardco.com for your credit card company, paypa
  • 42: the number of comments on this Dell product recall /. page which will be entirely about Apple.
  • in other news, the Department of Homeland Security announced yesterday that two men in a truck were arrested near the Texas capitol building with a truck full of explosive devices. FBI officials say the two men, dressed in UPS uniforms, were carrying almost a hundred boxes of incindiary devices towards the air freight terminal, labelled "Dell laptop." The ACLU has filed a brief in Federal court asking for information on the two men, believed taken to a hidden terrorist camp.
  • I would have had first post, but my laptop caught on fire!

  • PCMag.com has a great article up on what Dell owners need to know and what to do about the laptop battery recall: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,2003861,00.as p [pcmag.com]

If all the world's economists were laid end to end, we wouldn't reach a conclusion. -- William Baumol

Working...