Computer vendors are recalling about 35,000 Sony laptop battery packs in the US based on reports of the batteries overheating and catching fire. A US Consumer Product Safety Commission notice today announced the voluntary recall, warning that owners should stop using the product immediately. The recall concerns certain Sony …
Woo, free spare battery!
The Toshiba site doesn't list affected serial numbers of either the batteries or the laptops, but I bought my Tecra A5 in February 2006 after it had been discontinued so it's probably affected.
Has anyone else gotten a replacement battery in one of these recalls? Do you typically have to send back the affected battery? I'd like to keep my existing battery and use the new one as a spare. Mine has never even gotten warm, even when I'm not using my laptop cooler.
Re: Wee, free spare battery!
The issue with these batteries isn't that they degrade slowly, so you would notice them slowly getting warmer each time you use them; it is that they behave perfectly normally until about 10 seconds before they hit thermal runaway. (Thermal runaway is when the internals of the cell rise from ambient to ~150'C in 30 seconds and then from 150'C to 2-3000'C in 2 seconds)
Knowing how much people are charged for their batteries, I can understand completely what you say, and although I can't condone what you are saying, if you do choose to do it, be very aware of what might happen. Play safe; do NOT sit it on your lap, do NOT leave it charging or running unattended (although in very rare cases it can happen spontatnously even without charging or discharging), and if you choose to use it on your antique table, don't be upset about the burns!
If it goes up, you will get a LOT of CO2 which doesn't support life like oxygen, so get out to fresh air, and you will probably get a few cells go with maybe 10-40 seconds between each one, so if you choose to take it outside, be prepared for the flames coming out as each one goes.
I don't know what each of the company's policies will be, but if you order a replacement and get burnt by the old one you will have forfeited any right to claim for the damage.
DISCLAIMER: I may or may not know what I am talking about (so AC!), so if you get hurt after any of the above, it's not my fault :)
Just when you thought your crotch was safe again...
Paris - crotch. Done
Dell's Previous Recall
I got a new battery through Dell's previous recall, and whilst they asked for you to send the old one back, there was absolutely nothing unique about the address they asked, or any reference number I was to post something back quoting. So I basically got a new battery, and as far as Dell were concerned I may or may not have returned my old battery like every other schmuck in the same situation!
But I did always treat that battery with an extra degree of caution!
Burn baby burn
If I were you I'd be bugging Toshiba to determine what models are affected. Certainly HP are sending out the replacements and asking for the "defective" ones to be sent back in the same packaging.
This is going to continue to happen
...until a safer alternative to Li-ion batteries is implemented. Silver-zinc battery tech. is being developed and is touted as a safer alternative (it's water-based and cannot support combustion), and has a higher energy density. It scares me a little that Li-ion batteries are now being used in some hybrid vehicles too.
Re: Woo, free spare battery
Never mind-- my battery isn't affected by the recall. It was made in China by Sanyo, not in Japan by Sony. I've always liked Sanyo's rechargeable batteries.
AC: Thanks for the info about thermal runaway. I had thought the problem with the defective batteries occurred if they were allowed to get too warm. Since the problems were due to manufacturing defects, they're unpredictable cells anyway. If my battery had been part of the recall, upon reconsideration I would have sent it back.
Do you mean
"PC vendors recall more blazin' Sony batteries"
"blazin' Sony batteries? Oh yes, we remember those. Let me tell you about blazin' Sony batteries..."
Err... Any coat will do.
Just checked the Toshiba, thats OK!
I got caught with the last Dell recall. Came back off holiday, to be greeted by one of our IT guys wanting the battery out of my works laptop. Guess who got one of the batch of 5 in the company that were affected.
Poor chap looked quite stressed
Where your fire extinguisher is and to handle the battery at all times with 6' tongs.
Mine's the fireproof one.