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Dell recalls suspect notebook batteries made by Sony, including XPS M1710

Round Rock (TX) - An estimated 4.1 million Dell notebook computers sold worldwide are being voluntarily recalled by the manufacturer, cooperating with the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, after admitting to having received six reports of notebooks spontaneously catching fire. All the notebooks in the recall list have lithium-ion batteries manufactured for Dell by Sony's Japan and China factories.

A special-edition XPS M1710, ironically masquerading as though it already has the battery problem.

The recall covers all of Dell's major product lines, and may essentially cover all notebook computer brands the company ever sold between April 2004 and July 2006, all of which may or may not include Sony batteries. Latitude, Inspiron, Precision mobile workstations, and the premium gaming XPS models are included in the list; and among the latter group, the models XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, and XPS M1710 are included. A complete edition of the list was published by the CPSC this morning.

The CPSC advises that consumers stop using their systems if they appear on this list, and eject the battery. They can then resume using the systems with the AC power adapter connected, as no other components are suspect besides the battery. A special page on Dell's Web site instructs consumers as to how they can tell whether their battery is subject to recall. Only the battery needs replacement, so consumers only need to turn in the battery packs.

Not all Dell notebooks use Sony batteries, though Sony may be Dell's highest quantity supplier by far. Another Dell battery recall last December for units from another manufacturer, affected only 22,000 units. A few weeks ago, a Tom's Hardware Guide reader told the story of his own Dell notebook catching fire in his office, and sent us pictures of the aftermath.

Dell's top-of-the-line XPS M1710 notebook, now recalled due to suspect batteries.