By James Wells

TOKYO: Sony Corporation will support the largest consumer electronics recall ever undertaken in North America after the Japanese company made 4.1 million notebook computer batteries for Dell, which could spontaneously burst into flames.

According to a report published by Bloomberg, the batteries were used in Latitude, Inspiron and Precision laptops sold between April 2004 and 18 July 2006.

The batteries, which were included in 2.7 million PCs in North America and 1.4 million PCs elsewhere globally, were made in Japan and assembled in China by Sony workers.

The recall has been initiated after Dell learned of six cases since December 2005 in the North America where notebooks overheated or burst into flames because of a problem in the fuel cells of its lithium-ion batteries.

According to a spokesperson for Sony Australia, the local subsidiary will be involved in the recall.

“It is a Dell recall, but we are supporting Dell with that recall,” a spokesperson for Sony Australia told

“This is a worldwide recall including Australia. I don’t know which products this will affect at this stage,” he said.

According to Sony, the problem relates to a combination of the battery with a charger which is specifically related to
Dell. The recall, therefore, is unlikely to apply to Sony’s own Vaio laptops or other customers which use batteries manufactured by the Japanese consumer electronics company.

Sony advises that all enquiries regarding the recall should be made with the local representatives of Dell on 1300 734 947.

A local representative from Dell was unavailable for comment.