Dell To Recall 4.1 Million Batteries Due To Fire Threat

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The Round Rock, Tex.-based computer maker, which has been facing growing public outcry over a series of high-profile laptop-burning incidents, confirmed details it said were provided to some news media earlier in the day by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

The lithium ion batteries involved could pose a risk of overheating, according to media reports.

A Dell spokeswoman said the batteries involved in the recall were sold between April 2004 and July 2006. The battery cells were manufactured by Sony for the Dell notebooks involved, which include "the majority of Latitudes, Inspirons, Dell Precision and XPS" laptops, the spokeswoman said.

A formal announcement was expected within 12 hours, she said. A Web site — — was set to go live later Monday night with information on the recall, she said.

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The spokeswoman said that the company is expecting no material impact from the action on its finances.

Dell has been plagued with burning-laptop bad press since earlier this year, when photos of a Dell laptop bursting into flames during a Tokyo business conference circulated virally around the Internet. Subsequent to that, several other Dell users stepped forward to share stories — and in some cases photographs — of Dell laptops that had caught fire.

CRN reported last month month that Dell executives had received evidence of apparently severe overheating problems in scores of notebooks at least two years before issuing a 22,000-unit recall last year. About a dozen of those notebooks showed evidence of scorching or burning, a source close to the company told CRN.

A Dell executive announced on the company's blog last month that the company was working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to determine the cause behind the Tokyo laptop fire.