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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: Blame Game
By TomZ on 8/17/2006 9:55:21 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder, does Sony even make Sony batteries? Or are they putting their badge on someone else's product?

Sony is a manufacturer of OEM batteries:
Another thing, is there any way that the way that Dell built their notebook battery charging systems could be at fault here? It could be that Sony has a mediocre battery, but it's constantly being overcharged by the charging system built (or installed) by Dell, which is causing the overheating problem, couldn't it?

Doesn't sound like that is the root cause:

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.
This reminds me of when the Ford Explorers started having all the rollover accidents. They immediately placed the fault on Firestone, and it wasn't until later that we found out that Ford knew that the "Exploders" had a crummy suspension...

There was not a single cause (i.e., suspension):

According to a report released on February 2, 2001 there was no single factor that caused tread separation on Firestone ATX and Wilderness AT tires recalled last August. Dr. Sanjay Govindjee, an associate professor of civil engineering at the University of California at Berkeley, was hired by Bridgestone/Firestone to analyze the problem. He found that hot weather was a primary factor, but other factors included the design of the tires, manufacturing differences among different Bridgestone/Firestone plants (especially the Decatur, Ill., plant), and the way the tires were used--the tire inflation pressure, the weight of the vehicle, and the vehicle's speed.

"I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
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