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Dell's Recall Good 1st Step Says Analyst

8/21/2006 02:00:00 AM Eastern

Round Rock, Texas — The massive consumer press reaction to the Dell battery recall is blowing the problem out of proportion considering the low incidence rate, requiring Dell to step up its mea culpa campaign, said one Forrester Research executive.

It is the largest consumer product recall in history and was initiated because Dell received six reports of the batteries overheating and causing fires, although no injuries were reported.

Ted Schadler, Forrester Research VP, said the recall is a good start in repairing the damage done to its reputation and restoring customer confidence, but Dell and Sony, the battery's manufacturer, could do more.

“Michael Dell and [Sony CEO] Howard Stringer should stand up and say, 'this is what happened and this is what we are doing to fix it,'” said Shadler.

Overall Shadler also praised Dell for this substantial recall considering the number of incidents that took place is .0001 percent of the 4.1 million shipped.

In a statement given to TWICE Gary Shapiro, president/CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association, commented on the situation. “While the number of incidents thus far has been relatively low, Dell and its manufacturing partners have been incredibly responsive and are going well beyond expectations in this circumstance. While we can't foresee any additional recalls of Li-ion batteries in laptops or other consumer electronics devices, it is heartening to see that our industry is moving quickly to protect consumers from even the rare circumstance that may result in hazardous conditions.”

Sony did not have a specific statement regarding the recall, but a company spokesman said Sony will financially support Dell with the recall and it has identified and rectified the manufacturing error that created this problem.

About 2.7 million of the Sony-made batteries were sold by Dell in the United States between April 2004 and July 2006 in notebooks costing between $500 and $2,850. The batteries used in the following models:

Latitude: D410, D500, D505, D510, D520, D600, D610, D620, D800, D810;

Inspiron: 500M, 510M, 600M, 700M, 710M, 6000, 6400, 8500, 8600, 9100, 9200, 9300, 9400, E1505, E1705;

Precision: M20, M60, M70, M90 and

XPS: XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, XPS M1710.

In addition, batteries sent out as part of a service call could be affected. Dell has created a for customers to check if their battery is part of the recall. Consumers can still use the battery-less notebook by connecting the AC adapter.

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