Dell to recall Inspiron notebook batteries

Dell Computer Corp. will begin a large-scale recall of the batteries used in its Inspiron notebook computers, which can overheat and may cause the computer to catch fire, a source close to Dell said.

Beginning Thursday, the direct seller will contact customers that bought its Inspiron 5000 and Inspiron 5000(e) notebooks with batteries manufactured by Panasonic Corp., the source said.

Customers will be contacted in order for battery replacements to be sent out, the source said. He couldn't confirm a media report that at least one notebook computer had actually caught fire, nor could he confirm the number of notebooks involved. A report of 284,000 batteries to be recalled "looks awfully high," the source said.

An official announcement on the recall is expected late afternoon Thursday in Europe.

In October last year Dell recalled 27,000 batteries manufactured by Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd. These batteries were used in various Latitude models as well as the Inspiron 3700 and 3800 series notebooks.

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