All Sony Notebook Batteries Now Under Investigation
August 17, 2006 5:31 AM
comment(s) - last by
Safety concerns loom over Sony batteries by HP says "it's just a Dell issue"
Sony could very well be
forced to announce a major recall on a large number
of or all of the batteries that it manufactures. From laptops to hand held devices, Sony's batteries are now under heavy investigation by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission citing safety concerns. The investigation started after
Dell's recent 4.1 million battery recall
. The Commission however says that hazardous situations are not limited to just Dell laptops -- Sony batteries are used in other computers by Apple, HP and Lenovo. HP responded by saying that "it's a Dell issue" and that it's not affected by the investigation.
Dell's recall of 4.1 million batteries however is an indication that the situation is more severe than at first appears.
Earlier this month Apple issued a recall
for certain batteries that shipped with its MacBook Pro notebook computer. Apple said that the batteries did not perform up to expectations but otherwise did not pose serious threat to users.
Analysts say that Dell's recall of 4.1 million batteries could cost up to $300 million depending on how many users actually send in their batteries. Lenovo told reporters that it was not recalling any batteries yet and Apple said it would look into the situation. Out of all the manufacturers using batteries from Sony, only Dell has issued a recall. Interestingly, a Sony representative told reporters that Sony believes the problem to be isolated to just Dell.
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RE: uh oh....
8/17/2006 9:25:02 AM
The problem likely has more to do with the monitoring/charging chip built into the battery case. If you overheat Li-ion battery cells, they will melt down or explode. There's a chip in the battery case that is supposed to monitor the temp and prevent overheating and overcharging. It could be that the chip or temp monitor was improperly designed or it could be that it was designed well but fab'd poorly. The only folks who know work for Dell, Sony, and whatever company(ies) actually built the things. The individual Li-ion cells are probably as good as any others out there.
RE: uh oh....
8/17/2006 9:43:17 AM
According to Dell the problem is related impurities in the anode and cathode of the battery. Over time the impurities can work their way to the outside of the anode and rupture an isolator. The ruptured insulator then leaves an opportunity to create a short circuit that could result in a fire.
"It's okay. The scenarios aren't that clear. But it's good looking. [Steve Jobs] does good design, and [the iPad] is absolutely a good example of that." -- Bill Gates on the Apple iPad
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