Dell Issues Notebook Battery Recall

The PC maker is recalling thousands of battery packs, citing risk of fire.

Dell Inc. is recalling thousands of notebook PC battery packs.

The Round Rock, Texas, PC maker on Friday said it is working with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to recall and replace about 35,000 battery packs sold to corporations and consumers worldwide between October 2004 and October 2005.

The batteries, which were bundled with Dell notebooks and also sold as add-ons via the companys Web site and catalogs, can overheat and thus pose a fire risk, Dell said in a statement.

Although Dell says it received only three reports of overheating, it asked people to discontinue using the packs as a power source and to contact it to gain a replacement. The PC maker said the packs in question damaged a tabletop and a desktop, but no injuries were reported.

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Notebook batteries and power supplies are among the most frequently recalled computer products. While tens of millions of battery packs are sold along with notebooks each year, manufacturing errors sometimes create the potential for some of the packs to fail.

During October, for example, Hewlett-Packard Co. announced a recall of 135,000 battery packs worldwide. It said the packs, sold in nearly 50 HP notebook models, had the potential to short-circuit and overheat and thus were a fire hazard.

Apple Computer Inc. announced the recall of 128,000 packs for the similar reasons last May, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The battery packs named in the Dell recall were sold along with its Latitude D410, D505, D510, D600, D610, D800 and D810 business machines; Inspiron 510M, 600M, 6000, 8600, 9200 and 9300; and its second-generation XPS laptop for consumers, in addition to its Precision M20 and M70 mobile workstations.

The packs, which are stamped with "made in Japan" or "made in China," include model numbers 3K590, C5340, X5308, F5132, U5882, U5867, C2603, 6P922 and C5446, according to Dells Web site.

The model numbers are shown in a bar code sticker on the top of the battery, the site says.

Dell has asked customers with those packs to contact the company. It has launched a battery recall Web site that includes information about the recall, identifying the specific battery packs involved, phone numbers and other contact information designed to help customers gain their replacement packs.

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