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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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Crapie Dell
By EclipsedAurora on 9/15/2006 10:01:48 AM , Rating: -1
As an degree holder of electrical engineering, Dell can't get away the majority of her responsibility. Frankly speaking, any electronic components can have chance of short circuiting. What a good circuit design is to have safty protect circuit, especially for circuits that related to lithium batteries. All circuits utilizing rechargable lithium batteries should have protection circuits to avoid internal battery short circuiting.

That's why we can't find simialar "burning" problems affecting Fujitsu, IBM(Lenovo), Toshiba, NEC and Sony's own VAIO laptop. This is all becox they have done somehing they should do in order to ensure customer's safety.

We electrical engineers are very surprise to discover Dell, a so call international big technology company, would like trade off safety issue to save a few cents of dollars!

RE: Crapie Dell
By laok on 9/15/2006 10:09:16 AM , Rating: 2
I think every notebook or battery manufacture should put in an overheat sensor inside the battery in case something goes wrong with the recharge circuit, battery cell itself etc.

Dell's quality is not that good, we know that. We buy it mostly because it is cheap.

RE: Crapie Dell
By DFranch on 9/15/2006 12:39:15 PM , Rating: 2
What about Apple, is apple cheap?

RE: Crapie Dell
By rcc on 9/15/2006 8:00:11 PM , Rating: 2
With all due respect to your degree, how do you prevent an internal short on the battery if it's already occuring. Sure you could disconnect totally, but the short is still going to be there generating heat.

Now, any good engineer builds the power source with a current limiter so that a short circuit downstream won't eath the power supply or battery, but that's the opposite problem.

I'm wondering if they surveyed usage on the flamers. Where these guys power users that had twice the number of cycles on the battery as the average user? i.e. would this have happened to all of them eventually if they hadn't been recalled.

Perhaps Dell's recharger charges the cells more quickly, but still within spec, than the Viaos, xyz's etc., and that is part of the problem.

However, as I see it, none of this would have been an issue if the cells hadn't been contaminated in the first place.

It's a bit like an auto manufacturer telling a truck driver "dude, you off-road so you'd eventually have hit a tree anyway; so we aren't responsible just because the brakes failed.

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch
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