More than 10 million faulty notebook batteries have so far been recalled by Sony , but so far only a few per cent of users have bothered handing their batteries in.

The trend of not caring to exchange the faulty Sony batteries is especially prevalent among personal users. Globally, only a fraction of users have swapped their notebook batteries for new ones and analysts are now saying that Sony can "safely count on this being the situation for a foreseeable future".

Dell recalled 4.2 million of its notebooks containing Sony batteries in August, and about 5 per cent of those were exchanged during the first 10 days. The probability of exchanging is likely to have decreased since then, according to technology analyst Roger Kay at Endpoint Technologies Associates .

According to Dell, the exchange is going well. "We are very happy with the recall so far, our customers have sent back large volumes of batteries," a spokesperson for Dell UK stated, adding that about half of the affected batteries have been exchanged so far.

This relatively high number may be due to the fact that Dell sells straight to end-users, without middlemen, thus having more possibilities of directly contacting those affected. This is naturally a more difficult task if a computer is sold via a third-party dealer.

Apple , Fujitsu and Toshiba are other examples of companies that have been affected by the battery recall, but none of those has released any statistics of how many users have exchanged their batteries.

Sony has put aside around £220m to cover the cost of replacing batteries but now some of that money may not be needed. Hopefully it also means that the problem with stocks of batteries might be as big as previously feared. Anna Lagerkvist