It seems that the recent battery recall by Dell could only be the tip of the iceberg as the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has decided to review all Sony made lithium ion (Li-Ion) notebook batteries.
Following Dell's recall of 4.1 million notebook battery units because of fears that they could overheat and catch fire, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is turning their attention to notebooks made by Hewlett-Packard, Apple and Lenovo, all of which use batteries made by Sony.
If there are any more batteries recalled, I'll post the details on this blog.
My advice to anyone out there who's worried about this is not to panic. On the whole, batteries are pretty safe and if we put the Dell problem into perspective, it isn't like these notebooks have been exploding left, right and center. Any cell if overheated or shorted can rupture and possibly explode and the while there is an increased risk of cell failure from the recalled batteries, it's still only a small increase.
If you are worried about your notebook's battery, here are a few tips:
- Check to make sure that all the vents are clear (notebooks like to have clear space underneath them - don't run them on a pile of papers or a cushion for example).
- Check that the air vents are free of dust and muck - give them a clean out with a soft brush and some compressed air if they look a bit dirty.
- Remove the battery and look for signs of swelling, cracking or any other damage. If you see any signs of damage you need to replace the battery immediately (certainly don't keep on using a system with a damaged battery).
- Invest in a notebook cooler. This is a tray that sits underneath your notebook that has fans that aids in the cooling of the system. They are powered off USB so don't add any new chargers or adaptors into the equation. These can make the warmest of notebooks bearable to use on a lap.