The Dell-branded lithium-ion batteries were provided as service replacements by the Round Rock, Texas, computer maker, or included with laptops from April 1, 2004 through July 18, 2006. The notebooks sold for between $500 and $2,850, and individual batteries ranged from $60 to $180.
Dell announced the recall in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The agency said it was the largest computer-related recall in its history, according to The Wall Street Journal.
The battery recall is not the first for Dell. In December 2005, Dell recalled 22,000 batteries in the United States that could overheat and pose a fire risk. The CPSC at the time said Dell had received three reports of batteries overheating, causing damage to a tabletop and a desktop, and minor damage to personal effects. There were no injuries.
In June, a Dell laptop burst into flames during a conference in Japan. Pictures of the charred computer were posted on the tech site The Inquirer. No one was hurt, and the computer maker said at the time that it was investigating.
Dell asked customers to visit a special Web site starting at 11 p.m. Eastern time to determine if their notebook batteries were part of the recall. Customers could also call the toll-free number 866-342-0011, Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern time.
The recalled batteries were made by a unit of Sony Corp. They were sold with the following Dell notebook computers: the Dell Latitude D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, and D810; the Inspiron 6000, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 500m, 510m, 600m, 6400, E1505, 700m, 710m, 9400, and E1705; and the Dell Precision M20, M60, M70 and M90 mobile workstations; and XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170 and XPS M1710.