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by Mike Zazaian October 6, 2006 - 3:25pm, 2 Comments


Documents acquired under the freedom information act indicate that Dell knew of their battery issues almost a year before a recall was initiated.

As is clear from the documents, Dell reported several overheating incidents to the Consumer Product Safety Commission last October. Within a few months of the report Dell discovered the cause of the overheating, the same notorious metal particles that have caused short circuits in almost 8 million lithium-ion batteries.

Fortunately the gap between the Dell’s knowledge of the fault and the recall this past August was due to a lack of information rather than negligence. Initially Dell was under the impression that the short circuit issues affected only about 1,000 batteries that were shipped exclusively with laptops sold in October of 2005. These thousand or so batteries were quickly recalled and replaced.

Unsurprisingly the fault of a delayed recall seems to lie with Sony, who, after learning of the issues that Dell had experienced with their laptop batteries, insisted that the problem had been remedied and that no further issues would arise. It remains to be seen whether Sony legitimately believed that the problems had been resolved, or whether Sony simply crossed their fingers and hoped no more batteries would blow up. Either way, Sony is at fault for the now 8 million and counting faulty batteries that pose a hazard to consumers unlike any product since Dan Akroyd’s Bag of Glass toy featured on Saturday Night Live.

[via ars technica]