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Dell representatives are not amused

While Dell may have announced new AMD-based desktops yesterday, the fallout over the 4.1 million notebooks batteries that were recalled last month still lingers in the air. Chairman Michael Dell says that it has no part in the blame for the faulty batteries and says that all of the blame falls on Sony.

A spokesman for Dell was even more blunt in comments made to ZDNET UK. "We know exactly why there was a problem. Sony had contaminated its cells in the manufacturing process. The batteries were contaminated and were no good no matter what you did with them. We know the batteries, under rare circumstances, catch fire, (which is why we recalled them)," said the spokesman.

A representative for Sony countered by saying that the full blame should not rest on its shoulders. "It is the configuration. We use the same batteries in our Vaios, and have our own safeguards against potential overheating. Other manufacturers which use the same cells haven't come forward with any issues," stated a Sony representative.

Sony has agreed to help cover some of the costs associated with Dell recall and Apple's recall of an additional 1.8 million notebook batteries. In the weeks following the recall, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission started an investigation into all of Sony's notebook batteries despite Sony’s assertion that no more recalls are necessary.



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No Part of the Blame?
By qdemn7 on 9/14/2006 4:01:43 PM , Rating: 3
So is Dell saying that his company does not QC any of his vendor's products? Because that's how his statement reads to me.




RE: No Part of the Blame?
By PurdueRy on 9/14/2006 4:09:17 PM , Rating: 4
No, of course they should QC products to the best of their ability. However, I do not think Dell has the facilities necessary to investigate the internals of lithium-ion batteries for defects. It is up to Sony to keep their QC high before delivery of their final product.


RE: No Part of the Blame?
By kamel5547 on 9/14/2006 4:14:53 PM , Rating: 3
Right, Sony's dodge seems to be -- Well you shouldn't count on our batteries functioning correctly, you should ahve other methods in place to keep them cool -- which is complete bs. A battery should function without overheating if used in a standard configuration.


RE: No Part of the Blame?
By marvdmartian on 9/15/2006 9:27:38 AM , Rating: 3
The way I read it, though, is that Sony's saying, "Look, our batteries work fine in our products, with ZERO instances of overheating leading to fires. Why, then, does it seem to be happening with Dell notebooks? Could it be that Dell uses an inferior charging system that could lead to premature failure of our batteries???"

It might be a bit of passing the buck, but I think they have a point. Dell is sitting back, acting like the injured party, and shunting 100% of the fault to Sony. Could it be we're only getting Dell's side of the story??


RE: No Part of the Blame?
By JeffDM on 9/15/2006 3:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
For one, not all Sony notebooks have Sony batteries, and another, the market share of Sony notebooks is a lot smaller than the major brands that I'm aware of.

It may also be luck because there were about ten notebooks that burned out of maybe five or so million.


RE: No Part of the Blame?
By Madellga on 9/15/2006 12:18:48 AM , Rating: 4
You mean supplier's, not vendor's. It common practice today in the "modern" industry. It's called self-certification: your supplier says it is ok and you believe it. Really.


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