Aug 15 - Dell Recalling Fire Hazard Batteries

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Monday that Dell will be recalling over 4 million notebook computer batteries because they could erupt into flames. Claire Hoffman of the LA Times reports the recall will affect over 2 million U.S. purchases and that Dell has had documented cases in the past year of laptops catching on fire.

Dell Inc., the world's largest computer maker, acknowledged Monday that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries because they can overheat and sometimes catch fire. It would be the largest recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry.

Dell's action will affect batteries in its notebooks sold between April 2004 and July 18, 2006. That includes 2.7 million battery packs sold in the U.S. and 1.4 million abroad.

The recall, set to be announced today by Dell and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, follows reports of the lithium-ion batteries overheating, and in rare cases, producing smoke and bursting into flame, said Jess Blackburn, a company spokesman.

Complete Article

The fires occurred mainly from overheated lithium ion batteries that supply power to the laptop. Lithium ion batteries have also been recalled for other companies in the past year and are used in other electronics, including cell phones and digital cameras. Any sort of rechargeable battery contains potentially harmful materials and when not treated properly, can be potentially damaging. CAW is sponsoring AB 2202 (Saldaña) which would require manufacturers of electronic devices to phase out the use of some of these hazardous materials, including mercury, lead, cadmium and hexavalent chromium by 2010.

What You Can Do: