Dell confirmed Monday they were instituting a massive recall of about 4.1 million notebook batteries from their Latitude, Inspiron and Precision models. The batteries, made with cells by Sony, were reported to "overheat and, in rare cases, produce smoke and catch fire," Dell spokesman Jess Blackburn told Reuters.
A rep from Sony said that the company will be sharing in the costs for the recall. "We are supporting Dell's recall," Sony's Rick Clancy told Cnet's News.com. "There will be financial assistance and we are sharing engineering data and both doing further research."
The recall itself affects about 18 percent of Dell's 22 million notebook computers sold from April 2004 to July 2006. The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that Dell has received six reports of batteries overheating, causing damage to furniture and personal belongings.
[Update: Here are the models affected: 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; XPS: XPS, XPS Gen2, XPS M170, XPS M1710.
Go here if your model is on the list.]