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Harry Kim

Exploding laptops

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Dell recalls 4m laptop batteries

The world's largest manufacturer of personal computers, Dell, is to recall 4.1 million of its notebook computer batteries because of a fire risk.

Most batteries are in computers sold in the US but more than 1 million are thought to be elsewhere.

Dell says it knows of six instances since December when the batteries, made by Sony, overheated or caught fire.

The US body responsible for consumer safety says it is the biggest recall of electrical products in its history.

"We have put customer safety first despite this being a small handful of incidents in the field and so we are being pro-active and reaching out broadly to our customers to recall 4.1 m battery packs," Alex Gurzen senior vice president of Dell's product group told the BBC.

He added the firm were offering affected customers free replacements, but the move would not affect Dell's earnings.

A spokesman for the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Scott Wolfson, said users of affected laptops should only run the machines on a power cord.

'Rare cases'

The Sony lithium-ion batteries were placed in laptops shipped between April 2004 and July 2006.

They were included in some models of Dell's Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and Precision mobile workstation notebooks.

"In rare cases, a short-circuit could cause the battery to overheat, causing a risk of smoke and or fire," said Dell spokesman Ira Williams.

"It happens in rare cases but we opted to take this broad action immediately."

Dell has already launched a website - http://www.dellbatteryprogram.com - telling customers how to get a free replacement battery.

No injuries had been linked to Dell laptops with defective batteries, the company told Reuters news agency.

The CPSC has identified 339 incidents in which lithium batteries used in laptops and cell phones - not just Dell products - overheated between 2003 and 2005.

Some incidents involved minor skin burns or actual injuries as well as property damage, Mr Wolfson said.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4793143.stm

I just watched the news which reports that in some cases the battery can explode. ;) One of the pictures showed a laptop mid-explosion.

Don't Dell know that killing customers is bad for business? :P

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Not only do they explode, but prolonged use of them might make you sterile (at least temporarily) so even using them as intended can be dangerous to your health.

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I always knew Dells sucked. I guess they blow too.

Pfff, I've had Dell's and I still have and never had any problems.

I had an HP and it never worked properly (and no it wasn't software related).

So it all depends on luck if you ask me

Edited by Xenan

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Same here, only the other way around. Where I work we are switching to Dell, cos HP hardware isn't doing so well

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Or region. I haven't heard of anyone I know who's been satisfied with their Dell, and I know a lot.

The only Dell computer I've ever had problems with is my parents, and the only problem is that they got it with Windows ME.

They charge too much, that's the only point of dissatisfaction I have with Dell.

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Or region. I haven't heard of anyone I know who's been satisfied with their Dell, and I know a lot.

I've always been reasonably pleased with my Inspiron 1150 except for a small over-heating problem it suffered about 6 months after I got it, but I managed to fix that. I like the facility to build them to specification and that the laptops are more upgradeable than most (I've done all sorts to mine).

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My Inspiron 600m has never had any real problems, aside from a bit of dust collecting in the fan (my fault). And thankfully, my battery is not part of the recall so it should not explode.

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I think they're imploding, personally. Which is neat, because we get the chance to maybe get a nifty dwarf star in our solar system. That, and Sony exes are a bunch of greedy arrogent dicks who only care about how much money they can squeeze out of their fanboys.

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Meh. Saves me having to buy a Playstation at some point.

PS don't have batteries, so I guess they will stay in business

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