The largest computer manufacturer follows the negative trend that HP and Apple have started.
In April 2006, HP has recalled almost 16,000 HP notebook batteries worldwide after an increasing number of reports of devices overheating and burning. Later, at the end of July, Apple started its exchange program for MacBook Pro batteries after the users have experienced the same problems as in HP’s case.
After all those recall programs initiated by reputed computer manufacturers, one may say that waters have settled, but here comes Dell causing an even bigger storm. The largest computer manufacturer has announced the voluntary recall of approximately 4.1 million Dell-branded lithium-ion batteries with cell manufactured by Sony. Under rare conditions, Dell says, it is possible for these batteries to overheat, which could cause a risk of fire.
The recalled batteries were sold with the following Dell notebook computers: Dell LatitudeTM D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810; InspironTM 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400, E1705; and Dell PrecisionTM M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPSTM , XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.
Dell sold or provided these batteries with the notebook computers, as part of a service replacement, and as individual units from April 1, 2004, through July 18, 2006. The computers with these batteries sold for between $500 and $2,850 (US) and individual batteries sold for between $60 and $180 (US).
Lithium ion batteries (Li-ion) are currently one of the most popular types of battery, with one of the best energy-to-weight ratios, no memory effect and a slow loss of charge when not in use. However Li-ion batteries can easily rupture, ignite, or explode when exposed to high temperatures or direct sunlight.
Science has, no doubt, offered us some very useful technologies that can make life easier and more fun, but we should wonder how safe are all this new technologies and what trade-offs we need to make in order to use them.
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