Thursday, October 05, 2006

The notebook battery fiasco continues

If you thought the events of last month, with Apple, Dell and Sony recalling hundreds of thousands of notebook batteries, was the last you would hear about this matter; think again!

Dell, one of last month’s “battery-gate” victims, said last week that it is increasing the recall of Sony-manufactured battery packs used in its systems to 4.2 million units from 4.1 million units.

Again, if you don’t know what this story is about - where were you last
month- it is feared that these faulty batteries can short-circuit and cause some computers to overheat and even catch fire.

The problem also got bigger, with new guests joining the party: IBM and Toshiba.
IBM and Lenovo Group, the world’s third-largest computer maker, said that they were seeking the recall of 526,000 rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries from Sony purchased with ThinkPad computers, after one of them caught fire at Los Angeles International Airport this month.

Also, Toshiba said this week it is recalling 830,000 batteries made by Sony for its laptops at Sony’s request. Toshiba claim there have not been any reported incidents of over-heating by customers, but that the fault their notebooks are suffering from is one that makes the PC run out power. So, no ‘explosions’ yet on the Toshiba front.

These recent announcements takes the tally of Sony-manufactured batteries being recalled to about 7 million worldwide. And the current line-up of suspect manufacturers are: Sony, Apple, IBM, Dell, Toshiba.

It must be worrying that they’re among the biggest in the world. This list is only missing HP/Compaq and Acer, after which it will become a truly universal recall!

More technical information is being revealed, regarding the cause of this over-heating. Apparently, during production in Japan, tiny shards of metal were left in the cells, which can cause a short-circuit. The recall was issued after six confirmed instances of overheating or fire involving Dell systems with batteries made by Sony.

After the fiasco last month, it’s not very surprising that it’s happening again, and don’t be surprised if other PC manufacturers joining the band- wagon in months to come.

Any expert in the field of manufacturing would tell you that one or two faulty battery batches mean that there are many more. It seems as if PC manufacturers are playing a public relations game, releasing the bad news gradually.
All you can do is remember when you bought your notebook, if it’s from one of the above manufacturers, and take action.

Don’t be complacent. No one wants a Jordanian PC owner to make it into the international media for all the wrong reasons: “Notebook in Jordan explodes.
Authorities emphasize it was not a terror incident”.


At 10:49 PM , Blogger Roba said...

It's terrible, especially for someone who really needs a laptop now. It's so AHHH!


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