Sony battery problems could go beyond Dell laptops

Faulty batteries produced by Sony that have pushed Dell Inc. to recall about 4.1 million laptop batteries could be present in laptops from other companies.

Faulty batteries produced by Sony like those that caused Dell to initiate a huge recall this week could be present in laptops from other companies and other portable electronics products.

The Dell recall of 4.1 million batteries, which is being called the largest recall ever in the consumer electronics industry, was ordered after the computer maker received reports from customers of laptops overheating and catching fire. An investigation led to the discovery of a problem in the battery cell manufacturing process.

"Under certain rare conditions there is an elevated risk that the battery may overheat or catch fire as a result of the presence of metallic particles in a critical area of the battery cell," said Takashi Uehara, a spokesman for Sony in Tokyo.

The cells in question were produced between January 2004 and February 2006 at Sony Energy Tech in Japan and were sold by Sony to Dell and other companies. Sony wouldn't name the other companies citing confidentiality agreements. It acknowledged that some of the cells have been used in batteries inside its own Vaio laptop computers but that the company is not issuing a recall for those.

The risk depends on the system configuration, said Uehara. Typically a short-circuit inside the battery renders the battery useless but in some cases can cause the fires reported to Dell.

Factors that play into this equation include whether the battery cells are aligned in parallel or perpendicular order, and their proximity to heat sources like the processor and power supply, a Sony spokesman in the U.S. said Tuesday.

Sony said Tuesday that it will share the cost of the large battery recall with Dell. It declined to provide an estimate of the financial impact on its full-year results and promised to make such a disclosure "as appropriate."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Martyn Williams

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?