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'recall: [EE]: Lithium Ion Batteries.. I told Ya So'
2006\08\16@080748 by Gus S Calabrese

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Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
How many of these buggers have blown ?
Would not a warning and insurance be cheaper ?
AGSC

On 2006-Aug 16, at 01:55hrs AM, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> So if a product manager could save $20 on a single laptop
> it is a huge saving in the entire production so that he will
> save that money and that's his job to do so, that's what
> the shareholders expect from him.

I doubt they will bless him for the recall of 4 million batteries ...

> The bad thing is that there was a really badly constructed
> series that not just affected the expenses of Dell (recalling,
> loss of reputation of the trademark) but also very dangerous to us.

Yeah, well, apparently it is hitting the Sony share price ...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4797073.stm?ls

-

2006\08\16@082402 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective
>approach. How many of these buggers have blown ?
>Would not a warning and insurance be cheaper ?

That is not the way the system works. There is no guarantee that the ones
still "out there" are save, they could fail at any time, through what is
apparently a diagnosed mechanism. No amount of insurance and warnings is
cheaper if it is your house/work place/car/airplane that gets cought in the
conflagration when it fails.

Alan (owner of a Dell with a battery not on the list) ...

2006\08\16@085356 by Bob Axtell

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Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective
>> approach. How many of these buggers have blown ?
>> Would not a warning and insurance be cheaper ?
>>    
>
> That is not the way the system works. There is no guarantee that the ones
> still "out there" are save, they could fail at any time, through what is
> apparently a diagnosed mechanism. No amount of insurance and warnings is
> cheaper if it is your house/work place/car/airplane that gets cought in the
> conflagration when it fails.
>
>  
Exactly. Now knowing that the batteries are unsafe, Dell would be
foolhardy to do ANYTHING except what
it is now doing.

Can you spell "lawsuit" in 20 different languages?

--Bob

> Alan (owner of a Dell with a battery not on the list) ...
>
>  

2006\08\16@092053 by Tamas Rudnai

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Did you worry about your battery to be exploded before those accidents? I do
not think so. So that time if somebody called you on your doorstep saying
that buy a safety device for your battery would you have bought that one? I
do not think so. Why would you spend on something that you think will not
give you a value (as it offers safety for that you think is already safe
enough)? That's how a manager was thinking before that: Sony has a great
reputation, battery technology is safe, why should then spend more on
producing? After the things it is always easier to be clever...

Tamas


On 16/08/06, Bob Axtell <spam_OUTengineerTakeThisOuTspamneomailbox.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> -

2006\08\16@104755 by peter green

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face

> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
> How many of these buggers have blown ?
> Would not a warning and insurance be cheaper ?
the risk you run there is a court deciding to make a punitive award that
says "whatever you think you saved on not doing that recall frying a
customer will cost you more"

2006\08\16@164728 by William Chops Westfield

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On Aug 16, 2006, at 5:07 AM, Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
> How many of these buggers have blown ?
>
six.  About 1.5 per million.

Presumably they determined that there is an actual engineering
problem that results in a significant risk of more such accidents,
at which point they pretty much have to do something about it.
Knowing there's a risk and not doing anything about it is bad news,
legally speaking (cf firestone, pinto, etc.)

I'd guess that the cells don't deliver quite the rated current
over their full lifetime, without reaching dangerous temperatures.

BillW

2006\08\16@170352 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Aug 16, 2006, at 6:20 AM, Tamas Rudnai wrote:

> Did you worry about your battery to be exploded before those
> accidents? I do not think so. So that time if somebody called
> you on your doorstep saying that buy a safety device for your
> battery would you have bought that one?

There have been "exciting" Li-ion incidents for years now, with
assorted companies offering "safer" alternatives (check for
"Saphion", for instance.)  One normally expects the battery
PACKS used in mass consumer products to contain sufficient
protections to prevent the usual failure modes (battery packs
contain quite a lot of protection modes; it's surprising that
a pack would catch fire even with sub-standard cells.  The
failure mode OUGHT to be that the battery pack just ceases
to work, perhaps suddenly (which would still rate a recall.))

IMO, safety problems are inherent in any power source with the
energy density of a modern battery pack.  You can avoid the
flammable poisonous electrolytes used in Li-ion style cells,
and near-thermite combinations of internal electrode materials,
but that only makes them safer, not "safe."

Recently, the popularity of CR123A-style primary (NOT rechargeable)
batteries seems to have results in the import of some lower-cost,
lower-safety-margin cells, and there have been unexpected accidents
with THAT type of cell...

BillW

2006\08\16@181219 by Gus S Calabrese

face picon face

On 2006-Aug 16, at 07:20hrs AM, Tamas Rudnai wrote:

Did you worry about your battery to be exploded before those  
accidents? I do
not think so. So that time if somebody called you on your doorstep  
saying
that buy a safety device for your battery would you have bought that  
one? I
do not think so. Why would you spend on something that you think will  
not
give you a value (as it offers safety for that you think is already safe
enough)? That's how a manager was thinking before that: Sony has a great
reputation, battery technology is safe, why should then spend more on
producing? After the things it is always easier to be clever...

Tamas


On 16/08/06, Bob Axtell <.....engineerKILLspamspam@spam@neomailbox.com> wrote:
{Quote hidden}

^ Not true at all.   when faced with the choice between #1 spending  
money on insurance for
a home and #2 installing fire alarms and sprinkler systems and  
automatic fire-doors and fire-
proof walls and ceilings, most people elect to go with insurance.  
They have made a risk
calculation ( unconsciously ) and have gone with it.  Some people are  
deathly afraid of falling out of the
sky and will not travel on a plane even though car travel is more  
dangerous ( statistically ).  They
have made an assessment of risk versus personal convenience.  Same  
thing with cars.
People pay for good looking cars, and electric coffee cup heaters and  
tushee vibrators.  Very few buy a
car because of it's safety ratings.  You can see this in how many  
commercials are about safety.  Not
very many.  Most are about setting your uncompromising spirit free.  
Free to join the 43K U.S. dead from
traffic accidents. AGSC ^
>>
>>
> Exactly. Now knowing that the batteries are unsafe, Dell would be
> foolhardy to do ANYTHING except what
> it is now doing.
>
> Can you spell "lawsuit" in 20 different languages?
     ^ only in Inglés ....... "vulture lawyer compensation" ^
>
> --Bob
>
>> Alan (owner of a Dell with a battery not on the list) ...
>>
>>
>
>

2006\08\17@080030 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
>> How many of these buggers have blown ?
>>
>six.  About 1.5 per million.

Yeah, but that is Just Dell laptops.

Apparently over recent years Apple and someone else have also had problems
where batteries have been recalled, but the problems they had did not result
in the conflagrations like have been pictured for Dell/Sony units, so the
hype hasn't occurred.

2006\08\17@113320 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>>> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
>>> How many of these buggers have blown ?
>>>
>>six.  About 1.5 per million.
>
>Yeah, but that is Just Dell laptops.

Replying to my own mail now ...

http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13129-2316407,00.html

339 examples of overheating in laptops and counting ...

2006\08\17@113427 by Howard Winter

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flavicon
picon face
Gus,

On Wed, 16 Aug 2006 06:07:40 -0600, Gus S Calabrese wrote:

> Recalling 4 million batteries seems like non-cost-effective approach.
> How many of these buggers have blown ?
> Would not a warning and insurance be cheaper ?

Some things should not be judged on cost, in my opinion - the possibility of killing people is one of them!

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\08\17@115246 by David VanHorn

picon face
>
>
> IMO, safety problems are inherent in any power source with the
> energy density of a modern battery pack.  You can avoid the
> flammable poisonous electrolytes used in Li-ion style cells,
> and near-thermite combinations of internal electrode materials,
> but that only makes them safer, not "safe."



I've seen chineese NIMH cells that deliver rated amp-hours, but a few of
them spontaneously go into meltdown.

Building these cells is pretty tricky, lots of ways to get it wrong, and
lots of energy to be released when you do.

2006\08\17@115829 by Howard Winter

face
flavicon
picon face
Alan,

On Thu, 17 Aug 2006 16:32:46 +0100, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

> ...
> Replying to my own mail now ...
>
> business.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13129-2316407,00.html
>
> 339 examples of overheating in laptops and counting ...

Actually it says "laptops and mobile phones" - the latter I can understand more because of the space constraints, and the popularity meaning there's
more chance of counterfeit stuff out there.

Changing tack slightly, I bought a 2nd-hand MiniDisk player a while ago, and it uses a "gumstick" battery, type NN-14WM(A) (they don't write numbers
like that any more! :-)   It's a NiMH cell, 1.2V, 1400mAh made by.... Sony!  

I bought a couple of replacement batteries and the first one I tried jammed in the MD player - I had to use pliers to pull it out, to find that it had
swelled from about 6mm to about 7.5mm thick at the widest point.  Now this was a brand-new battery on its first use, and it doesn't look like a
counterfeit.  

I wondered if it's a fault in the MD player which means it doesn't stop charging, so I charged the second one in an external charger (also made by
Sony) and after a while there was a loud "crack" which I tracked down to the second battery, which had swelled as well and this time split the case!

I suppose it's possible that they are counterfeits that are very well disguised - perhaps I'll send them to Sony for their comments...

Anyone know where you can get guaranteed-genuine batteries?

Cheers,


Howard Winter
St.Albans, England


2006\08\18@042025 by Alan B. Pearce

face picon face
>I suppose it's possible that they are counterfeits that
>are very well disguised - perhaps I'll send them to Sony
>for their comments...
>Anyone know where you can get guaranteed-genuine batteries?

>From Sony - for providing info on counterfeits ?? ;)

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