PC Manufacturers Recall More Sony Batteries

Posted by: Cliff Edwards on October 30, 2008

Remember the brouhaha a couple of years ago when Sony took the heat for failing to tell consumers immediately about a problem with its notebook pc batteries?

The electronics giants today seems a bit more proactive, announcing it is working with Dell, HP and Toshiba to voluntarily (without government intervention) recall another 65,000 batteries sold in notebook computers between December 2004 and June 2006. The Consumer Products Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml09/09035.html says about 35,000 of the batteries were sold as part of notebooks in the U.S.

Sony said in a statement there have been 19 reports of the batteries overheating, including 17 reports of flames or fire. Two consumers experienced minor burns, while 10 of the overheated batteries caused property damage.

To refresh your memory, Sony ended up taking a charge of about half a billion dollars in 2006 for a massive recall of more than 10 million lithium-ion batteries. As with the previous recall, Sony reported the problem stemmed from a manufacturing problem that caused defects.

The good news, presumably, is that the recall affects only a fraction of the huge installed base—and growing—of notebooks on the world market. I hedge that statement only because the initial recall of batteries back in July 2006 was said to be relatively minor.

As with most recalls, you can check the website of the pc manufacturer for additional details and information about where to send the battery for replacement.

The recalled batteries were included with, and sold separately for use in the United States with the following notebook computer models:

Hewlett-Packard (about 32,000 batteries sold from December 2004 through June 2006 labeled A0, L0, L1 or GC):
Pavilion: dv1000, dv8000 and zd8000
Presario: v2000, v2400
Compaq: nc6110, nc6120, nc6140, nc6220, nc6230, nx4800, nx4820, nx6110, nx6120, nx9600

Toshiba (about 3,000 sold from April 2005 to October 2005):
Satellite: A70/A75, P30/P5, M30X/M35X, M50/M55
Tecra: A3, A5, S2

Dell (about 150 laptops with OUO91 battery label shipped between November 2004 and November 2005):
Latitude: 110L
Inspiron: 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, 5160


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Reader Comments

Frank

October 31, 2008 10:38 AM

I'm sick of having overheating battery problem related concerning Dell Laptop, this is the second recall of the kind. I guess I'll just go buy a battery from a third party like Batteries Plus... I feel their batteries are better quality.

Jeff Palumbo

October 31, 2008 12:54 PM

So you "feel" Batteries Plus has better qualty batteries Frank?? I dont think so and your feelings should have nothing to do with a battery purchase. The problem is with the Lithium used in the manufactuer of these batteries. Lithium batteies of one design or another have been blowing up for at least 60 years. Lithium is highly unstable and extremely explosive... a little like gasoline! If you dont want to take the small risk inherent in todays lithium battery design buy a NiCad or NiMh... just dont complain when your computer stops working while you're sipping your latte....

Interconnect

November 1, 2008 01:08 PM

Great company Sony, with the admisal of recall for product defects. LioN batteries are not only in notebook PC, but today in the EV which will emerge in early 2009 in Japanese market. A uniform policy be adopted by Sony and other companies for product recall in developing/emerging markets which are not treated at par, with resultant consumer resistance, as with the Chinese tainted milk, and related consequences. Beware before you pack the proudct check if its tainted, or fresh and natural. eMail: haroon.rashid@akunet.org

Scott Crossen

November 2, 2008 12:11 PM

A lithium ion battery used in an HP laptop has been blamed for the fire that completely destroyed my 17,000 sq ft building and photo digitization business this past May causing millions of dollars in damage and the loss of hundreds of thousands of photos and videos. http://www.digmypics.com/Recovery/default.aspx
The actual cause is in dispute by the manufacturers but the fire investigators have assigned blame to the li-ion battery. Fortunately, the fire happened in the middle of the night while the building was unoccupied but that laptop was normally in the home of a software engineer. Had the fire happened at his house, well, he has 2 small children that sleep in the upstairs of 2 story house. If your laptop gets hot please don't leave it unattended while it's plugged in.

Neal Stein

November 4, 2008 01:57 PM

A good solution to this ongoing problem will be silver-zinc batteries - they are inherently safer than lithium batteries as they are non-combustible, and provide more power. ZPower (www.zpowerbattery.com) will be introducing a silver-zinc battery in a major laptop manufacturer's product early next year.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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