Mother sounds warning after laptop sparks, smokes

Two Christmases ago, Denise Tautonico bought a Dell laptop as a gift for her daughter, who is in high school.

“She needed it for school,” Tautonico said. “She uses it every day to do her work.”

Tautonico said she paid $533 for the computer, but less than a year later she began having problems with it.

“She was charging for about an hour or so when we heard a loud pop and some screaming, so I went running in, and the laptop was smoking,” she said. “So, I quickly unplugged it, ran it out (of) the back door, and left it outside … It was very scary, and then to see the laptop smoking the way it was, it was frightening.”

Tautonico said the smoking laptop left a mark on her wooden deck.

She said she contacted Dell and sent pictures of the damaged laptop. Her complaint was escalated to Dell’s Safety Capture Team.

“Three days after that, they told me they would send me a refurbished machine,” Tautonico said.

With the laptop being less than a year old, Tautonico told Dell she wanted a new computer and not a refurbished one. 

Eventually, Dell sent a new laptop with a one-year extended warranty.

Dell said customer safety is of the utmost importance, and said people should not use third-party accessories with their computers. The company also said that people should keep the device out of any area that can get very hot.

Copyright 2018 NBC News