> If there were a way to cut off the battery before it swells, it would have been done by now. ...
I'm absolutely positive there are ways. There are probably issues with them but I'm sure they can be solved more reasonably than this and without prohibitive costs. I guess a tearable conductive ribbon around the cell would work as a sensor. I firmly believe it is a prime example of bad engineering. I just hope this can get fixed before someone gets hurt.
No, it's fundamental reliance on unstable chemistry - using a flammable electrolyte in the presence of lithium metal makes every lithium ion battery a risk. The technology has been pushed beyond its ability to deliver -- it's time for a different battery chemistry. There are safety circuits built in to prevent overcharging - one of the prime causes of failure, but they cannot cut off all possible pathways to electrolyte breakdown. The short term solution is to go back to using steel-cased batteries, which are protected against swelling. The downside is that we'll go back to a time when "slim" meant about 1-1.5" inches in overall height - you simply cannot design a steel cased battery into a system like an XPS 13, 15 or Macbook.
At least Dell and the other PC manufacturers haven't gone down the Apple path of gluing the battery in place. For now at least, you can replace the battery in an XPS with just a screwdriver. Try that with any Macbook of recent vintage.
Just had the same thing happen to my now 4yo XPS13-9343. Has been a great laptop and in the past couple of weeks it did the swelling thing. Called Dell and of course instantly was offered paid repair. No sense of maybe there is a quality issue with their XPS line. The agent immediately knew what I was talking about and even referred to a replacement program that ended in September. But could not confirm if users were made aware of this. I asked for an escalation to a manager, which of course is going to tell me the same story. He however could not confirm any recalls or replacement programs.
They couldn't quote a repair but rather wanted the paid shipping and tear-down by a tech.
I am completely disappointed in Dell for this. I know batteries get old, but they should not destroy a laptop like this in their top of the line models. Do like everyone else does and reduce charging capacity and rate of charging. If they are expected to only last a year or two, then make them end user replaceable without needing a tear-down. Once you make them an integral part of the system and not user replaceable then take on the responsibility of making sure it does not damage the other components inside.
God luck guys - meanwhile I will probably replace the battery myself to get another couple of years out of it as it's my wife's. I too am no longer a fan of the Dell XPS brand.. I will take like 1800 to another brand.
They do not have batteries to replace these. After much contortion I have managed to order through Dell support a replacement battery on two occasions. Both times the order was cancelled by Dell and my credit cad refunded. After market batteries are at best roulette because they are all leftovers that have been sitting on warehouse shelves for five years. I'm on my third and still looking for a good one. It does <Profanity removed> that a perfectly good pc, I7 8GB, close to $2000, is <Profanity removed> by no replacement battery support. My last Dell, after dozens.