Sony says fire-prone batteries ‘believed to be specific to batteries supplied to Dell’

“Dell’s recall of 4.1 million laptop batteries made by Sony Corp. could cost the Japanese electronic maker as much as $400 million, analysts predict. The prediction comes as computer maker Dell announced the biggest recall in its 22-year history, after it was found that the lithium-ion batteries made by Sony could smoke and catch fire,” Shaveta Bansal reports for All Headline News (AHN).

Bansal reports, “A Sony spokesman said the company is still calculating the possible financial impact of the recall. He added that nothing had been decided on whether Sony would pay for all the recall costs involved. The overheating problem is believed to be specific to the batteries supplied to Dell, he said. U.S. consumer safety officials said Tuesday they were reviewing all Sony-made lithium-ion batteries in laptop computers for fire hazards. The Sony batteries are also used in laptops made by Hewlett-Packard Co, Apple Computer Inc, and Lenovo Group Ltd.”

Full article here.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
PC box assemblers say battery problems limited to Dell; Apple still investigating – August 16, 2006
Dell issues largest safety recall in history: 4.1 million laptop batteries due to fire threat – August 14, 2006
a href=”http://www.macdailynews.com/index.php/weblog/comments/another_dell_laptop_goes_up_in_flames/”>Another Dell laptop goes up in flames – July 28, 2006
Dell laptop fires may have been downplayed – July 22, 2006
Dell warns of earnings miss; shares plunge 15% – July 21, 2006
NY Times: Dell’s exploding laptop and other image problems – July 10, 2006
Survey shows big jump in consumer interest in buying Apple Mac; Dell takes steep slide – July 06, 2006
Dell laptop explodes into flames at Japanese conference – June 21, 2006
Time Magazine on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook: ‘Dell and HP should be very worried’ – June 07, 2006

15 Comments

  1. Interesting. Now comes the question:

    “Did Dell’s insistence on the lowest possible cost contribute to the unsafe design of these batteries, and what was your responsibility as a vendor to point out potentially hazardous consequences of pursuing this design philosophy?”

    Sign at a local speed shop:

    “Cheaper, Better, Faster: Choose Two”

    MW: “question” No joke.

  2. The overheating problem is believed to be specific to the batteries supplied to Dell

    What is Dell doing with their laptop cases that makes the Sony batteries explode and catch fire?

    What Sony should do is say “Hey, we supply these batteries to many laptop computers and they work just fine”

    Shift the blame to Dell, let them eat the costs of their own recall. Sony didn’t make the recall, Dell did.

    FSCK Dell real good. hehehehee

  3. Jeffrey said:

    “I wouldn’t be too gleeful…. it could just as easily been Apple….” .

    It is important to recognise that Dell have achieved their market dominance by assembling computers from the cheapest crap components, materials and chemical vapour spewing plastics they can find on the most part. They also make heavy use of forced labour (i.e. prison and bonded) where they can to keep costs down, so don’t expect much love or care going into those machines on the assembly line.

    They also have a philosphy of pushing as many boxes out the door as possible and increasing ‘churn’, i.e. frequent replacement. Sell PCs to the masses that have the bare minimum to run the current Windows OS, so when the next version comes out you’re basically forced to buy a new computer to run it if you don’t want to tear your hair out.

    Apple on the other hand, has taken a different approach. Their ideal is for a device that keeps on rockin’. They take great care in the choice of components and materials to balance value and reliability whilst minimising churn and impact on the environment, not to mention servicing costs.

    The next version of OS X 10.5 Leopard, supports 400MHz G3 and up so long as there is Firewire, USB and a DVD reader, so basically computers which will be 7 years old when 10.5 ships. And so long as you max out the RAM, they’ll run it quite well – most of iLife, MS Office, mail, surfing, almost any task you can throw at it will be performed without any pain.

    Now try running Vista beta 2 on a 450MHz Pentium II, released at the same time as the aforementioned G3. Hell, trying running XP on it and see how long before you pull out a gun and shoot it.

  4. <i>Was Sony inadvertantly trying to sabotoge Dell…<>

    Dell: K now, we need batteries, lots of them for our range of laptops

    Sony: no problem, we have a large range of them

    Dell: Good, characteristics? starting with what price point?

    Sony: Oh price, we range them by hours, recharge cycles, durability, the best we ha…

    Dell: LET ME STOP you right there. We range by price, what is the lowest price point you have?

    Sony: oh, well, hemm, the truly lowest we have is really crap, other PC vendors didn’t even want to look at them..

    Dell: our customers don’t look at them either. Good, we have the exclusive then! We get the all lot.

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