Thousands of Dell notebook users across New Zealand and Australia are being urged to return faulty batteries used in some Dell notebook computers.
The recall is part of a wordwide recall of 284,000 batteries.
Dell warns the batteries can overcharge, causing them to become very hot, release smoke and possibly catch fire.
It follows an incident in the United States where a battery overcharged and caused minor damage but no injuries.
The recalled batteries were sold with the Dell Inspiron 5000
series of notebook computers, comprising both the Inspiron 5000 and Inspiron 5000e models.
Dell shipped computers with these batteries directly to customers from January 7, 2000 through March 21, 2001. Dell and its authorised service providers also sold the batteries separately during the same period.
The batteries insert into the front left or front right of the notebook computer. "DELL,TM" "MADE IN JAPAN," and "Inspiron 5000 Battery Module" are written on the top of the batteries. The battery's identification number is written on a small, coloured sticker at the rear of the battery.
Dell advises users to remove the battery from the notebook and contact Dell on 0800-935-525 to see if their battery is part of the recall.
Spokesman Rob Small says the company has also written to customers, “a few thousand” across Australia and New Zealand, to arrange for the safe return of the batteries.
Affected customers will receive one replacement battery for each battery identified as subject to recall, and a second battery after they return the recalled battery, he says.