Dell recalls 4.4 million notebook adapters

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Dell has voluntarily recalled 4.4 million AC adapters for its notebooks after receiving seven reports of the adapters overheating, posing a risk of fire or electrical shock for users.

Dell announced the recall - which involves Latitude, Precision and Inspiron notebook adapters - in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC).

The recall only affects the adapters and not the notebooks, Dell said. About 2.9 million of the adapters were sold in the US.

It is not known how many notebooks are affected in Australia. Calls to Dell Computer Australia have not been returned.

The CSPC said businesses and consumers should stop using the recalled adapters immediately. The AC adapters were manufactured by Delta Electronics of Taipei, Taiwan.

Delta also was the vendor involved when IBM announced an AC adapter recall for its notebooks in September. That recall, also done in conjunction with the CSPC, involved 225,000 AC adapters.

The Dell adapters involved in the current recall have the words "DELL" and "P/N 9364U," P/N 7832D" or "P/N 4983D" printed on the back of the unit. They were shipped to customers between September 1998 and February 2002.

The adapters were also sold separately, including in response to service calls, for between US$30 to US$70. The advanced port replicators and docking stations sold for US$300 to US$600.

Dell will send consumers with recalled adapters a free replacement. The latest recall follows a Dell power adapter recall for 28,000 systems in July.

A Dell spokesman in the US said the company doesn't expect the recall to be "material" to business and, therefore, not have an impact on quarterly results. The spokesman declined to comment on how much the recall could end up costing the company, or if Delta Electronics or Dell would be responsible for the cost of the recall.a

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