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Power Sony Hardware

More Battery Problems for Sony 69

nevillethedevil writes "Looks like more problems for Sony batteries. According to pcmag, Acer is warning that some faulty batteries in its laptops could overheat and cause a fire. They will be recalling almost 27,000 Sony made lithium-ion batteries."
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More Battery Problems for Sony

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  • by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:05AM (#18882805)
    "Sony, the hottest name in batteries!"
    • by CaptainPatent ( 1087643 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:28AM (#18882973) Journal
      They sure made a battery that can burn through the competition!
    • by morgan_greywolf ( 835522 ) * on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:37AM (#18883047) Homepage Journal
      Did you hear about their liquidation sale? Deals so hot, they'll EXPLODE! Their sales staff are ON FIRE! Call now!

    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Dear Slashdot,

      I don't know what the problem is. They had to choose between Magnetbox, Panaphonics, and Sorny. I'm glad they chose to go with genuine Sorny as they are known for quality manufacturing.

    • by kjart ( 941720 )

      All they need to do is harness this so that you can set them off on demand - just the thing if the feds come a knocking.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        There are so many things wrong with you that I hardly know where to begin:

        1. You store data on your hard drive, not in your battery.

        2. You think that an explosion will destroy the contents of your hard drive.

        3. You think that the batteries actually explode. They don't they burn.

        4. You think a fire will destroy the contents of your hard drive.

        5. You're concerned about "the Feds" but you're posting with your username.

        6. You think "the Feds" will knock.

        7. You think "the Feds" give a shit about what you're doin
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          You think a fire will destroy the contents of your hard drive.

          It might, it might not. It depends on how hot the fire gets. A battery fire that doesn't set off a 5-alarm blaze isn't like to do much to your average HDD's platters, if anything. A 5-alarm blaze that burns hot enough in close proximity can very easily melt a typical HDD's aluminum platters to the point that data cannot be recovered. (aluminum has a very low melting point) Note that there's no guarantees, though, that at least SOME data MIGHT

  • I think we could classify that in the category "laptop can damage men genitals" ... *ouchy*
  • Great job, PC Mag. (Score:5, Informative)

    by EveryNickIsTaken ( 1054794 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:07AM (#18882817)
    Any time I read about a lithium battery catching fire, I always wonder why the reporting sources don't educate the public about the inherent danger of a lithium fire, specifically the fact that water really isn't a good thing to be putting on it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You know, I know this, yet I probably wouldn't have thought about it untill after tossing water on the burning battery myself...

      Very good point on such a hot topic...
    • What is the proper way anyway? A nitrogen extinguisher?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Soruk ( 225361 )
        Extinguishing the nitrogen won't help.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        The proper way is to convince someone to pee on the fire while you film it from a save distance.
      • Look around, can you form some sort of rudimentary lathe?
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by mstahl ( 701501 )

        The proper way is with a dry chemical fire extinguisher rated for electrical and metal fires, so a class ABC or BC fire extinguisher. They usually spray out a combination of carbon dioxide and/or baking soda-like material and can safely be used on any kind of fire.

        • by ^_^x ( 178540 )
          In North America, class C is electrical, and class D is for extinguishing metal fires.
          I'd say look for a class CD extinguisher, but I have no idea how available they might be as C use nonconductive media, and D are usually salt and powdered copper...
          • by mstahl ( 701501 )

            Recalling my machine shop classes ages ago, yes, you're absolutely right. B is for liquid fuel fires.

            Either way, it's not so much tripping the connections on the battery I'd be worried about. I'd be much more concerned about the reaction between lithium and water where the lithium steals electrons, freeing oxygen and hydrogen from the water. Fun times!

      • by Cyberax ( 705495 )
        No, lithium reacts with nitrogen (and hot lithium reacts with nitrogen fast enough to support burning).
    • to be honest, i have no idea how a lithium fire differs from any other kind of fire.. so care to enlighten me? why is water a bad thing? what's the proper technique for putting the fire out? are you aware of other common blunders that exacerbate the situation?
      • by jimstapleton ( 999106 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:23AM (#18882937) Journal

        * Water may be used to extinguish packaging fires if batteries have not ruptured; water is not an effective extinguishing agent for a battery fire.

        That pretty much confirms the GP's post. As for why? Lithium is a strong electron doner, as such it will react quite well with almost anything containing oxygen, just like any element on the far left of the periodic table. Another good example is magnesium.
        • Lithium is a strong electron doner
          I'll have mine with garlic, please.
          • by stuew ( 1079891 )
            awww. Comon'! 1 point? Didn't you knuckleheads get the joke?
            A strong electron -döner-, or in english spelled doner.
            Galic, herb or hot sauce?
        • In essence it's a Alkali Metal, which means any water will cause one heck of an explosion. Thank you, Mr. Braunlich of Eighth Grade Physical Science, for demonstrating that in class to great effect!
      • Lithium can be oxidated by almost anything, even whater. So, throwing wahter at the fire will just make it worse.

        But I don't know what to do about it. Maybe a nitrogen extinguisher can be used. Probably a CO2 one can be used too, but that is dangerous enough by itself. I guess the best way of dealing with it is taking the battery to some safe place and let it burn alone there.

        • by faloi ( 738831 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:38AM (#18883059)
          Nah, CO2 has the potential to react just as badly on Class D fires. The only recommended ways I know of involve, essentially, smothering the flames entirely. Powdered copper-based extinguishers were developed, I believe, to fight fires involving lithium.
        • That should be: Lithium can be oxidated by anything, Especially water.

          Doesn't anybody remember the demonstration in science class where the teacher took out the lithium, dropped it in water, and you watched it react. Although the potassium was much more impressive. Boom. That's all I gotta say.
      • by kunakida ( 886654 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:16AM (#18883389)
        A lithium battery has very little lithium in it. Some of the lithium is already converted to lithium oxide.

        Just remember that any fire needs 3 things: oxygen, fuel and heat. Remove any one and you kill the fire.
        Also consider that the most important thing about a fire is how quickly it will expand. You can expect a fire to double in size roughly every 20 to 30 seconds if it has material available to burn.

        1st - get someone else (if there is someone else) to call the fire department. If you fail to contain the fire, you need professionals help ASAP. If you are alone and you think you can handle it without taking chances, you can call the fire department after first trying to handle it. Use your judgement and stay calm.

        If the fire is still small, just grab the device containing it and toss it into a empty (empty it out if necessary) metal trash can (or a clear area of concrete floor if available) and wait until the fire burns out. Do protect your eyes by avoiding looking at it as much as possible while you are holding it. If you have some sort of rubber or sufficiently thick cotton mat (like a fire blanket), you can use that to cover the fire and contain it until you can put it in the trash can. The mat may catch fire eventually, but it will be more resistant than most other things. Do not use a plastic sheet as plastic melts and if it gets on your skin it can cause some bad blistering. Once it is in the trash can do not cover it with something unless you are sure it is not flammable and will resist high heat - a fire is harder to fight if you cannot see it. Do monitor the fire in the garbage can to see that it does not grow.

        Otherwise, if the fire is too big for you to carry the device containing the battery, the fuel for the fire is now overwhelmingly whatever it is sitting on or surrounded by, so fight that type of fire instead. The lithium left in the battery is irrelevant.

        In any case, a large volume of water will cool any type of fire sufficiently to a more manageable level, and make most surrounding combustibles harder to ignite. The important thing to remember about using water is to turn off A/C power from wall sockets etc. first.

        If at any point you feel you can't manage to handle the fire, just get out of the building in a calm manner and wait for the fire department. Make sure everyone gets out and keep people from returning inside.

    • From wikipedia: Lithium fires are difficult to extinguish, requiring special chemicals designed to smother them.
    • by suv4x4 ( 956391 )
      Any time I read about a lithium battery catching fire, I always wonder why the reporting sources don't educate the public about the inherent danger of a lithium fire, specifically the fact that water really isn't a good thing to be putting on it.

      Can you please let us know what we put on it? Copper powder and so on, is kinda hard thing to wear in your pocket at all times, in case your laptop melts and catches fire.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Lithium violently reacts with water, do the wrong thing and you change a hot but small fire into an explosion.
        While it is not the exact best solution, a class B fire extinguisher (CO2) can help keeping things under some control by screening O2 out and cooling down the fire.
    • by delt0r ( 999393 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:34AM (#18883009)
      Even more amusing is the fact that many of these laptops/batterys are permited on aircraft but not liquids over a 100ml or whatever.
    • by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      Any time I read about a lithium battery catching fire, I always wonder why the reporting sources don't educate the public about the inherent danger of a lithium fire, specifically the fact that water really isn't a good thing to be putting on it.

      Could it be, perhaps, that it's because it's actually a lithium-ION batteries? As in, no (or very little) metallic lithium [] since everyone knows the dangers of lithium by itself?

      The flames themselves are caused by chemical instability at high temperatures, causing th

  • TFA mentions other manufacturers issued the recall months ago- which manufacturers and then why is this news only now that Acer recalled theirs?
    • The other manufacturers were news as well.

      Dell was HUGE news (maybe a year ago?), there was also Toshiba (the only batteries that didn't actually catch fire, but were recalled anyway - the just suddenly, and unexplosively stoped working). I think Apple, HP/Compaq and Sony themselves would also be on the list.
      • Are you talking about the first incidence of the sony recall, or is this inbetween then and now?

        Forgive my confusion in advance please.
  • Deny it, then only replace it if legally bound too. US customers get a replacement iPod battery, UK customers can fuck off and buy a competitors product. (Good thing the 60gb Creative Zen Vision M is better than the equivalent Apple product).

    You can only take the piss out of your paying customers once.
  • by jimstapleton ( 999106 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:20AM (#18882909) Journal
    Their batteries...

    She could look at the battery in a commercial, and it would burst into flames. She would then say her catch phrase in her normal-brain-dead manner...
  • Painfull (Score:4, Informative)

    by Tinfoil ( 109794 ) on Thursday April 26, 2007 @08:36AM (#18883025) Homepage Journal
    Well, I do have a couple of affected Acer laptops, and so far the process is painfull. The operators on the other end answer the phone in a language unknown to me, though they promptly switched to very understandable english after I spoke. However, the line quality is so horrible that my call was dropped 3 times so far, and I still haven't processed a replacement request.

    Great jorb, Acer!
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Great jorb, Acer!

      Coach Z, is that you?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tinfoil ( 109794 )
      Even better is the 3 to 6 weeks it is to take for the replacement to arrive. Now I need to go out and buy another battery just in case the current one decides to asplode and take my naughty bits with it.
  • by biduxe ( 541904 ) <> on Thursday April 26, 2007 @09:00AM (#18883233)
    "All parties felt it was better to be safe than Sony," the Acer spokesman said
  • didnt sony already recall all of them []? you mean there are still some ticking time bombs out there?
  • What has Slashdot come to? I surely expected a haha tag on this article.

  • Why is Sony wasting their time making electronics? Clearly, they could make a FORTUNE in the international arms market.
  • ... that Sony is researching as a means to ensure the destruction of your device if there is any detected violation of DRM or attempts to remove the rootkit.

  • Oh, never mind, I don't really have to. The Tesla Roadster [] uses 6,831 Li-ion laptop batteries for energy storage. This could be a big problem for the future of electric vehicles!
  • Acer has put up a site that contains information on the recall and allows you to begin the replacement process. []
  • It's worth noting that, while Sony is certainly to blame to a certain extent in regards to the Acer laptop problem, Acer laptops themselves are such horrid cheap pieces of garbage that I cringe whenever I see one. The only reason companies usually sell Acer laptops/desktops is because they have a large profit margin because of the cheapness of the components used.

I THINK MAN INVENTED THE CAR by instinct. -- Jack Handley, The New Mexican, 1988.