A Few Days into the Battery Recall

Wanted to take some time to answer a couple of specific customer questions, and to comment a bit on external reaction to the battery recall. Will work to address more of the blog comments directly moving forward.

  • Some customers have asked whether they can return or exchange newer systems. The answer is no… the recall applies to certain batteries up to July 18. All of our systems in the U.S. come with a 21-day return policy. Some customers who received systems up to July 18 are outside the return period. Customers received systems after that date won’t have batteries that are part of the recall.
  • IT managers have asked about the best way to proceed for companies with hundreds or thousands of notebooks on-site. Dell account teams are working with corporate customers directly to establish a replacement plan that will meet their specific needs.

The role and safety of lithium-ion batteries have become key topics of discussion. Yesterday, IPC announced a technical summit that will occur next month in San Jose, California. There, a battery consortium which includes representatives from Dell, Lenovo and other major PC manufacturers will accelerate ongoing work to standardize the design, performance and safety requirements for lithium-ion batteries. John Grosso, director of supplier engineering and quality, represents Dell as the chairman of this consortium. I'll ask him to blog more about this in the future.

Know most of you have seen coverage of the battery in the media and the blogosphere. Much of the coverage is balanced—Ad Age and the Consumer Electronics Association largely approve of our response thus far; others like Shel Holtz initially criticized our delayed response on the blog. Fair enough. A recall of this scope takes a huge amount of coordination across Dell and organizations like the Consumer Product Safety Council. That said, we recognize there’s room for improvement. Lots of folks here are committed to continuing the progress we’re making on the blog. We will use Direct2Dell to provide useful updates as new details become available. I’ve created a battery recall category so that customers can easily see all posts related to the recall in one place.

In a few cases, some folks are incorrectly saying this issue only applies to Dell and attribute it to our battery charging process. Dell disagrees with that assertion. Most importantly, we’re staying focused on getting replacement batteries to our affected customers.