Feeds

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

It's probably not the only one

The essential guide to IT transformation

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). ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Apple to build WORLD'S BIGGEST iStore in Dubai
It's not the size of your shiny-shiny...
Just in case? Unverified 'supersize me' iPhone 6 pics in sneak leak peek
Is bigger necessarily better for the fruity firm's flagship phone?
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
Leak: Intel readies next round of NUC
Cheap boxen to get a refresh
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?