Dell Recalls 4.1 Million Laptop Batteries

Under a deal negotiated with the U.S. Government's Consumer Product Safety Commission, Dell disclosed plans late Monday to recall nearly 4.1 million batteries. The recall would be the largest ever electronics recall negotiated by the agency, involving laptop batteries shipped between April 1, 2004 and July 18, 2006.

The batteries, made by Sony, have been the subject of increased scrutiny after media reports caught footage of at least two laptops catching fire due to the batteries overheating. The most notable of these was a laptop in Japan that exploded on video during a conference, prompting the company to launch an investigation into the matter.

Dell maintains that the these are isolated occurrences, however it is taking the broad measure as a safety precaution. According to a statement by the company, the batteries appeared in its Latitude, Inspiron, Precision, and XPS lines of notebook computers.

Those with affected machines are being urged to only use the laptops when connected through a power cord. Including problems with Dell, batteries in at least 339 devices from cell phones to laptops have overheated since 2003, causing burns, injuries and property damage, the CPSC reported.

On three previous occasions over the last five years, Dell has had to recall batteries shipped in its laptops. The most recent of these was in December of last year, when the company recalled 35,000 batteries over a risk of overheating. Another large scale recall of 284,000 batteries occurred in 2001.

More information about the recall is available on Dell's Web site.

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