Dell: Exploding battery investigation ongoing

Michael Dell has confirmed that the investigation into reported explosions of laptop batteries is still in progress
Written by Steven Deare, Contributor

Dell is still investigating several incidents where batteries in its laptops have reportedly exploded, chairman and founder Michael Dell told a press conference in Sydney on Monday.

Responding to questions about a particular incident involving a laptop in Osaka, as well as other reported explosions of the lithium ion batteries used in Dell laptops, Michael Dell said: "We take the safety of our customers as the highest priority, and that's what's most important.

"We are fully investigating that incident and a few other reported incidents to understand exactly what's going on and taking appropriate steps to provide the best outcome for our customers.

"We'll keep you posted."

Dell was scheduled to meet some large customers while in Australia during his visit, as well as attend a gathering of Dell Australia and New Zealand staff at Sydney's Town Hall.

The chairman was unfazed by the delay in the release of Windows Vista, which analysts have tipped to be a major boon to the PC industry.

"The most important thing for us is not when Vista comes, but making sure that it's a great product and it's a reliable product and it's solid," he said.

"We're pretty excited about what we're seeing with this though. The interest from consumers looks quite high, the capabilities in terms of the visual experience are pretty fantastic when you combine that with wide-screen machines and dual-core micro processors… [The delay is] not a big issue."

He also reaffirmed his faith in incumbent Dell chief executive Kevin Rollins, despite shares in the company having fallen by 45 percent over the past year.

"In terms of leadership, Kevin Rollins is an outstanding executive," Dell said.

"If you look at the growth of the company during the last 10 years, he, along with myself and others, was largely responsible for that growth in success."

Dell ruled out any move to have himself reinstated as chief executive.

"Any suggestion [of reinstatement] is to fail to understand how our company works in terms of the shared leadership responsibilities that Kevin and I have, but also fail to understand Kevin's capabilities."

However, the company was responding to areas of potential improvement.

"We are making a number of changes in our business, and we believe those are the right changes for our company long term," he said.

Coinciding with Dell's visit, the vendor announced it will offer free recycling for its products after recovering more than 72 tonnes of discarded equipment in Australia and New Zealand last year.

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