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Dell recalls 4M+ notebook batteries - UK affected, too

by Bob Crabtree on 15 August 2006, 16:29

Tags: Dell (NASDAQ:DELL)

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The news

Dell USA yesterday issued a recall notice for an estimated 4.1 million lithium-ion batteries for notebook PCs - to avoid a possible fire risk - and UK models are affected, too.

The batteries are Dell-branded but, according to the company, contain cells made by Sony. Dell says it does not expect the recall to have a material adverse effect on its own operations, financial position or cash flows. That's clearly overly optimistic but does suggest to us that it's Sony that's going to have to pick up the massive bill for swapping out millons of batteries!

What it also suggests is that the problem may well extend to the batteries used in other brands of laptop, including Sony's own. What those other brands might be we don't know but  speculation on the net suggests that Apple is one of them.

There's been a steady flow of stories recently about Dell notebook PCs catching fire, so the recall is no surprise. Even so, yesterday's announcement looks to have wrong-footed Dell subsidiaries outside the USA - well, certainly, Dell UK.

There was nothing about the recall on the UK site until late this morning and the Battery Recall pointer that's now sitting at the bottom of the UK home page takes you to the same place as the Battery Recall pointer on the US site.

And, as we write, Dell UK still hasn't distributed a localised press release - though did send us one when asked to.

The only signicant difference we can see between the UK and USA releases is the free-phone numbers. If you wish to phone, rather than check things out over the internet, then, for the UK, call 00800 3033 4044 (yes, that's an international number) and for the USA, call 1-866-342-0011.

To do things over the net and check if the battery in your Dell notebook is among those affected, UK owners should visit this link - UK Battery Recall, while those in the USA should use this one - USA Battery Recall. We do think that each leads to the same place but, just in case not, best use the appropriate link.

We've detailed below what you'll find on the recall area and have included on the second page of this article Dell USA's press release.

The batteries that might be affected were sold with the following models of Dell notebook computer. They were also sold separately and provided as service replacements.

* 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

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.

Dell says that, if your battery does not reflect one of these markings it is not part of this recall and you need do no more.

Identifying your battery is a two-step process.

First - check if your battery model might be affected. Dell says that if your battery is not listed, you are not affected.

Check if your specific battery PPID (Dell Part Piece Identification) relates to one of those affected. Only some batteries within each model range are affected. If the battery is subject to this recall you should be automatically connected to a replacement order form.

Step 1: Is your battery on of the models affected?
Only the following battery models may be subject to recall:









 D6025  JD617





 F2100  KD494  W5915





 M3006  X5308  Y1333
 C2603  D2961  GD785  RD857  X5329  Y4500
 C5339  D5555  H3191  TD349  X5332  Y5466

These part numbers are printed on the back of the battery packs as shown below.

Dell battery ID

Step 2: Is your specific battery affected by this issue?

To determine whether your battery is affected by this issue, you should click here.

The website will direct you to find and enter an identification number from the back of your battery pack so as to determine whether the battery is affected by this issue. If the battery is subject to this recall you should be automatically connected to a replacement order form.

Dell will also provide a means for you to return the affected battery packs for proper disposal.

Affected batteriesAffected batteries - click to visit battery-ID page

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Dell USA press release - Dell Announces Battery Recall
Dell USA - Battery Recall page
The Register - Dell recalls 4.1m 'Zippo' laptop batteries (has good links to incendiary-Dell stories)