Packard Bell has announced a voluntary recall of battery packs for certain models of its laptops after reports indicated the risk of a short circuit - potentially leading to a pretty serious fire.
The recall affects the company's EasyNote MX36, MX37, MX51, and MX52 budget laptops sold manufactured between July and December 2007 and sold throughout Europe, with the company confident that no affected models were shipped to retailers elsewhere in the world.
The flaw in the battery packs can result in "internal short circuits which can potentially cause the cells to overheating [sic] and/or catch fire.
" While that's more than a trifle worrisome - especially in laptops which have potentially been in use for more than two years - the company reassuringly states that "there have been no reports of injuries
" and that there is no risk of electrocution as the short-circuit flaw is entirely internal to the battery.
For those unlucky enough to have a Packard Bell laptop with a matching manufacturing date, the company has a serial check
on its website to see if your battery is in the affected batch. If so, the company will provide instructions on getting it replaced - preferably before it burns your house down.
This is far from the first battery recall to affect a major laptop manufacturer, with Dell
recalling over 4.1 million Sony-manufactured batteries back in 2006 due to the risk of fire, and Sony itself recalling 100,000
in 2008 for the same reason.
With the potential effects of a lithium-fueled fire being as dramatic as they are
, it's probably a very good idea to check your battery if you own a Packard Bell of the right age.
Are you pleased to see the company issuing a voluntary recall, or are you wondering why it's taken them two years to work out that there's a problem? Share your thoughts over in the forums