Dell, the worldâ€™s largest PC maker, has issued a recall of a laptop computer batteries manufactured by Sony after the batteries sparked fires.
Dell announced on Monday, a recall of 4.1 million batteries manufactured by Sony Corp. The recall was preceded by a number of incidents where the Texas-based PCs makerâ€™s laptop were overheated or caught fire during usage. This was the largest safety recall in the consumer electronics industry.
In the research note, analysts at UBS had estimated the recall of the lithium ion batteries, could cost $400 million, and possibly require a public relations push by Sony to protect its reputation.
â€œThe battery recall is mostly a PR issue that will need some attention in terms of customer service & brand management,â€ said a note from UBS equity research.
The overheating and the ignition of the batteries were caused by the drive of manufacturers to build smaller, but more powerful, laptops. Users are increasingly using their laptop to watch video and perform other processor demanding chores. As the computer works harder, itâ€™s processor also does, which could lead to overheating. If the battery case cracks and there is a leak, a fire could result
Dell has already received 77,000 orders for new batteries, while itâ€™s Website has 23 million. U.S. consumer safety officials said Tuesday they are reviewing all Sony-made lithium ion batteries in laptops for fire hazards. The batteries are also used by Hewlett-Packard, Apple Computer and Lenovo.