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Dell orders total recall of defective notebook batteries

Middle East customers of Dell's notebooks bought over the summer are being asked to check their batteries. If you are concerned, Dell will replace your battery for free.

Dell notebook customers in the US are getting house calls from the PC vendor this week as it attempts to recall 27,000 potentially defective machines, InformationWeek reports.

A battery, produced by Sanyo Energy, has been identified as potentially hazardous after Dell received a complaint from a customer whose battery short-circuited, resulting in a puff of smoke and the destruction of a notebook computer.

No injuries were reported, and there has been no word of any additional incidents, but Dell isn't taking any chances and is conducting the recall voluntarily. "We think the likelihood of another one of these malfunctions occurring is remote," says a spokesman. "But one more would be too many."

He says the company is picking up the batteries to ensure that they are properly discharged, thus preventing a second incident. The risk of short-circuiting apparently disappears once a battery's charge dips below 40%.

The potentially defective batteries were included with several models of Dell's Latitude and Inspiron notebooks shipped in the Americas between June 22 and Sept. 15 and in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa between June 22 and Oct. 4.

Dell’s Middle East office says it is sending letters to all customers who bought Latittude and Inspiron notebooks from the June 22 to October 4 batch. They are being asked to check serial numbers on notebook batteries to see whether they are affected.

If their machine is on the recall list, local distributors have been authorised to courier a replacement battery, plus an additional free battery to the customer immediately.

No numbers were available on how many notebooks are affected in the Middle East, but Dell’s EMEA headquarters said that 80% out of 27,000 machines affected by the recall were in the US.

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