Dell recalls 4.1 million notebook batteries

Dell recalls 4.1 million notebook batteries

Summary: I've been expecting this news for some time - following a lengthy investigation, Dell are voluntarily recalling a whopping 4.1 million batteries sold between April 2004 and July 21, 2006.

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TOPICS: Dell
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I've been expecting this news for some time - following a lengthy investigation, Dell are voluntarily recalling a whopping 4.1 million batteries sold with the following notebooks:

  • Latitude
  • Inspiron
  • XPS
  • Precision Mobile Workstation

These batteries were sold to customers between April 2004 and July 21, 2006 and account for 14% of the 24.9 million batteries sold during that period, making it the largest recall in Dell's 22-year history.  I presume that Dell have now identified the component that's susceptible to fire and replaced it with a less combustible part.  It's about time that Dell issued a public statement regarding the issues surrounding these batteries because if one were to catch fire on someone's lap or on a train or plane, it would be a PR nightmare for Dell.

The notebook models that are possibly affected by this recall are:

Latitude:

D410
D500
D505
D510
D520
D600
D610
D620
D800
D810

Inspiron:

500M
510M
600M
700M
710M
6000
6400
8500
8600
9100
9200
9300
9400
E1505
E1705

Precision:

M20
M60
M70
M90

XPS:

XPS
XPS Gen2
XPS M170
XPS M1710  

To complicate things further, affected batteries might have been given to Dell customers as replacements for existing batteries, so it;s vital that you check your battery if it's been replaced.

So, how do you spot an affected battery?  Well, first determine the date you got the battery and the markings on it:

  • The batteries were shipped to customers between April 1, 2004 and July 18, 2006
  • The words "DELL" and "Made in Japan" or "Made in China" or "Battery cell made in Japan, Assembled in China" are printed on the back of the batteries

If the answer is "Yes" to both of the questions above, your battery could be affected and you need to move to step 1 detailed below, otherwise your battery is not involved in this safety recall.

Step 1:

The following is a list of the battery models affected:

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

These part numbers are printed on the back of the battery pack:

Dell battery recall 08/06

Step 2:

Go to the Dell Battery Return Program website and enter the identification number for your battery into the online form to check to see if it's affected.  If it's not part of the recall then you can carry on using it.  However, if it is affected by the recall it is strongly recommended that you remove the battery from the notebook immediately.  You can carry on using the notebook using the AC power cord.

Topic: Dell

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16 comments
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  • Second time

    This is the second time Sony has manufactured batteries for laptop computers that have burst into flames. The old Apple Powerbook 5300 used Sony Li-ion batteries.
    frgough
    • no surprise

      Sony have been selling expensive crap for over 10 years now. I avoid their awful products, including their rootkit-laden audio dics. They used to care about quality, but now it's all about screwing the customer for money.
      zoroaster
  • Table of battery serial numbers

    This may be too whiny, however if you are going to provide a reference table it would be more useful if there were an order to the entries. Granted the number of entries is limited.....
    jkahle@...
    • It is (too whiny)...

      The table is straight from the Dell website.
      mharr
      • Thanks ...

        I've structured the information into alphabetical order ... I think!
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • Battery reference table - order

      The chart offers the battery models in a grid that should be read from left to right, a line at a time.

      Models are listed with numeric ID's followed by those
      with alpha characters.

      A better question might have been, "Why are the batteries numbered in this inconsistent way?"
      bmaho
  • Dell Battery Recall - CAUTION

    CAUTION - When entering your battery serial number on the Dell battery recall site, if the entry is flagged "no replacement needed" double check the numbers you typed in -- this could be the result of a mistyped or miss read letter or number.
    pak43
    • Good point!

      One digit out and you could be sending a battery that's OK back (or being left with a dangerous battery).
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Dell battery recall

    It took a long time for Dell to do the recall, but I give them credit.

    It seems that Sony was the manufacturer and I can just imagine the discussions and negotiations between Dell and Sony about these defective / dangerous battery packs.

    That could easily be the reason it required all this time.

    In a past life, a component manufacturer provided the company I worked for with components that failed with age. We did a recall of 10s of thousands of units to replace the bad part.

    The manufacture's response... "we'll be happy to replace those bad $0.01 parts with new ones. Have a nice day"
    glennpollock@...
    • Confusing

      I found it confusing when typing in the zeros, and "O",s. The serial numbers are not distinquished between numerical and alphabetic.
      albX@...
      • If things are going to be recalled ...

        ... maybe the serial number should be clearer ;-)
        Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Pirate_Dave

    Not only does the Website (https://www.dellbatteryprogram.com/Default.aspx) mentioned in teh article not work but the phone number given at the bad site doesn't get answered...

    Pirate_Dave
    dcannell
    • Site seems to work now

      Probably got /.ed x 1000
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • How to spot an affected battery...?

    The bright flames shooting out of the computer might be a good first clue. ;-)
    IT_Guy_z
    • Hopefully ...

      ... people will spot it before then ;-)
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
  • Dell laptop battery question

    I bought a replacement battery for my Dell laptop about a month ago from http://www.laptopsforless.com/laptopbattery/dell-battery and it works great. Is there any reason to think that a replacement Dell laptop battery would be less reliable than the manufacturers?
    GreenApple123