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Dinesh C. Sharma


About 4.4 million AC adapters sold worldwide with Dell notebooks between September 1998 and February 2002 were recalled Friday.

Dell sold the adapters with its Latitude, Inspiron and Precision series of computers, as well as separately. Delta Electronics, based in Taipei, Taiwan, manufactured them.

As part of the recall, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission advised consumers who suspect they have one of the adapters to contact the company. Dell will send free replacements to customers with the recalled adapters.

The recalled adapters can overheat, posing a risk of fire and electrical shock. Dell reported seven incidents of overheating, although no one was reported injured. The Round Rock, Texas-based computer maker has set up a Web site for the recall program.

The company has faced problems with its power adapters before. In July, Dell offered to replace power adapter cords sold with some 38,000 notebooks. Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Mobility Electronics manufactured that product.

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 990,000 units were recalled. But a Dell representative said that figure referred only to the adapters sold to consumers in the United States. It did not include the additional 1.91 million units sold to U.S. businesses or the other 1.5 million units sold to customers outside the United States.