Dell recalls potentially incendiary laptop batteries

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dell, the world's largest manufactuer of home computers, is recalling 4.1 million lithium batteries used in laptop computers because of the risk of their bursting into flame. There have been at least six incidents since December of laptops catching fire because of overheated batteries.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States says it is the largest recall of electronic products in its history. Scott Wolfson, spokesperson for the CPSC, says the affected laptops should only be run off of a power cord and not the battery. Dell says that the computers are safe to use if the batteries are removed entirely.

At risk are those Dell Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and Precision laptops shipped between April 2004 and July 2006.

"In rare cases, a short-circuit could cause the battery to overheat, causing a risk of smoke and or fire," said Dell spokesman Ira Williams.

"It happens in rare cases but we opted to take this broad action immediately."

Customers with concerns can call a special toll free number, 1-866-342-0011 or go to to determine if their batteries are subject to the recall.