Less than two weeks after Dell Computer disclosed a voluntary recall of 27,000 defective notebook computer batteries, Compaq is doing the same. Unlike Dell, however, Compaq will not be making house calls.
Compaq is recalling 55,000 batteries produced by Sony Corp. between June 2 and July 10 and used in Compaq's Armada E500 and V300 notebooks. The batteries were sold either with the machines or as spares until the company confirmed the defect in September. The circumstances surrounding the recall are eerily similar to those surrounding the Dell batteries, which were manufactured by Sanyo Energy, but Compaq says the recalls are unrelated. As in the case with Dell, Compaq received a single report of a battery short-circuiting and destroying a notebook. And like Sanyo before, Sony has attributed the problem to a manufacturing defect that has since been corrected.
Whereas Dell has committed to visiting customers to pick up defective batteries and deliver replacements, Compaq has opted to simply mail two replacement batteries along with packaging customers that can use to return the defective battery. Customers whose notebooks are powered by a potentially defective battery can call a toll-free number (800-889-7613) or visit the Compaq Web site to order replacements. "We are not going door to door," says a Compaq spokesman. He says the company determined that scheduling appointments would further inconvenience customers.
The defect has been identified in batteries with one of four serial numbers: TCGK 00001-10500, TCGK 20001-21800, TCGK 40001-83100, and TCHK 40001-44700. A Sony spokesman says the company has agreed to cover appropriate costs associated with the recall.