Dell has announced a recall of 4.1 million notebook batteries because of a production flaw that can result in sudden fires. Six Dell notebooks have exploded or burst into flames, and I’ve seen reports claiming there are hundreds more. The defective batteries were supplied by Sony, which is paying for the recall.

If you have a Dell notebook computer, you should go to the Dell Battery Return Program web site and follow the instructions to see if your notebook battery should be replaced.

This FAQ answers some of the basic questions about the recall. If you want more background, this collection of CNet articles explains more about the Dell recall, the exploding laptops that made it necessary, and background on other battery recalls in the last few years.

This may not end with Dell. The same batteries are supplied to other manufacturers. According to the CNet report, Apple is “looking into the issue.” Gateway ducked the question.

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