General discussion


Batteries that catch fire

By Zen37 ·
I saw the report yesterday on ABC News that says that Dell is recalling something like 4 Millions laptop batteries that can malfunction and catch fire. I've personnally never had such an event happen to me, i'd like to know if it happen to you and if you could tell your story.

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Battery fire

by mjd420nova In reply to Batteries that catch fire

I have not had it happen to me but it could have happened to any number of users I service. These problems as I see it are caused by the users. They have removed the battery for one reason or another and did not replace it properly in the laptop. The users jammed the thing back in place, and I mean jammed. In one case, they removed the battery after recharging it, and did not remount it properly and forced it into the bottom cavity crooked. This forced one of the small spring loaded connectors to bend and contact the adjacent pin and sparks flew. The plastic melted on the support for the pin, causing any further attempts to place the battery in the unit impossible. I can see where the recall of 4 million batteries being caused by these heavy handed users who are very few in number. Too bad that Dell is being forced to cure a non-existant problem because a few users created a hazardous situation

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Why fix a non-existent problem

by CrashOverider In reply to Battery fire

MJD, You said that Dell is being forced to cure a non-existent problem. Yes they are being forced to fix this problem by the CPSC if this agency was not in existence this would already happen because a business does not want to hurt their customers. If a business harms their customers the person would have legal charges against the company the former customer would also speak out against the company and the competitors would be able to use that incident to draw customers from the company that created the dangerous product.

Personally I work for a manufacturer that had to recall and fix some appliances that could be dangerous. The company was not really forced to do the fix but the fear was that a customer may be hurt then the competitors would exploit the situation and we would loose market share.

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Yes. you are right

by mjd420nova In reply to Why fix a non-existent pr ...

But the underlying reason is always the same. The almighty dollar. Reputations are directly linked to their earning potential and affects the bottom line.

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No, but

by SciFiMan In reply to Batteries that catch fire

I've had some that get very hot, some generic replacements have been unreasonably hot. To the point that I worry about them. Laptop batteries have been a problem for ages so the Dell recall doesn't surprise me.

I worry more about the power adapters (bricks). I don't remember which brand but the closest we've come is one power brick so hot it began to melt and deform from the inside. I don't understand why those get so hot. Maybe the tightly enclosed brick with no venting? I've had 400W fanless desktop PSU's that ran much cooler than these power adapters, although they do have vents and some air movement inside the case. Just sounds to me like a new design is needed, such as an aluminum frame adapter with cast-in fins to make itself a heatsink?

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External adapters

by mjd420nova In reply to No, but

They do get very hot, and the manufacturers cut the power needed to the power supplied to a very close tolerance. Unlike my approach, where if my tower needs at least a 400W supply, I'll use a 500w unit and it runs much cooler. This would not be feasable in the eyes of most builders, as it would boost the purchase price.

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