Feeds

Dell said to have 'dozens' of burned laptop incidents on file

It's probably not the only one

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Dell's December 2005 battery recall followed the recording of dozens of incidents over a two-year period of overheating notebooks, many resulting in melted or burned computers, it has been alleged this week as the company continues to investigate the case of a laptop that burst into flames in Japan.

The incidents are detailed in a series of documents leaked to US trade paper CRN by a source said to be close to the computer vendor. According to the paper, the records list examples of machines with melted or charred casings. Signs of overheating were not always visible near the battery. However, many appear in places associated with high temperatures during the operation of any laptop.

CRN's latest report comes shortly after another which highlighted a second case of computer combustion, this time concerning a Dell notebook which caught fire inside a building in Novell's Provo, Utah facility. The building was evacuated. Novell later said the offending laptop had been fitted with a battery supplied not by Dell but purchased from a third party.

In December 2005, Dell formally asked the owners of 35,000 Inspiron, Precision and Latitude laptops bought or serviced between 5 October 2004 and 13 October 2005. The company said at the time the recall was based on three reports of batteries overheating.

Even if the number was much higher, it has to be put into the context of the millions of machines Dell ships each year. And it's by no means alone. HP recalled 15,700 notebook batteries in April this year - only six months after asking for 135,000 laptop batteries to be returned to it.

Fujitsu told the world it was recalling 250,000 notebook batteries in June 2005, a month after Apple said 128,000 PowerBook and iBook batteries should be sent back. The Mac maker also issued a similar recall in August 2004. Recalls like these tend to be disproportionate: a small number of problems lead to a very large volume of returns.

If it's not laptop batteries, it's phone power cells - as Kyocera discovered, though Nokia claimed cases of exploding handsets were the result of third-party batteries or chargers - or it's power supply units for notebooks - bad luck, IBM - games consoles - Sony and Microsoft - and USB drives (step forward, Lexar). ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
For Lenovo US, 8-inch Windows tablets are DEAD – long live 8-inch Windows tablets
Reports it's killing off smaller slabs are greatly exaggerated
Microsoft unsheathes cheap Android-killer: Behold, the Lumia 530
Say it with us: I'm King of the Landfill-ill-ill-ill
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Seventh-gen SPARC silicon will accelerate Oracle databases
Uncle Larry's mutually-optimised stack to become clearer in August
EU dons gloves, pokes Google's deals with Android mobe makers
El Reg cops a squint at investigatory letters
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.