Exploding batteries were no news to Dell, Sony
Dell issued a massive battery recall
last week following a number of reports of exploding laptops, but the
problem was not news to the company. According to a Sony spokesman
quizzed by InfoWorld, Dell and Sony discussed
hiccups with the affected batteries all the way back in October 2005
and then once again in February 2006.
Apparently, the problem was caused by metal particles that contaminated
the batteries' Lithium-Ion cells. As a result of the talks with Dell,
Sony beefed up its battery design with thicker cell linings to prevent
metal particles from getting in. However, the recall was only initiated
once the flaw was "clearly linked" to Dell notebooks catching fire. "We
didn't have confirmation of incidents [involving fires] until relatively
recently. We received reports, but didn't know if there were
environmental situations not related to the systems themselves," the
Sony spokesman told InfoWorld.