Apple recalls 1.8 million laptop batteries

Apple Computer is recalling 1.8 million lithium-ion batteries for its iBook and PowerBook notebook PCs, just a week after Dell took a similar step.

The batteries, which were supplied by Sony Energy Devices, could overheat and pose a fire hazard to consumers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Thursday.

Apple has counted nine reports of overheating, including two instances that caused minor burns from handling the hot computers, the commission said.

The batteries were used with the following computers: 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4. No other Apple PC models are involved.

Affected consumers are advised to contact Apple or log on to Apple's Web site at http://support.apple.com/batteryprogram to check the battery's serial number and request a replacement battery.

"We discovered that some Sony batteries in previous models of PowerPC-based iBooks and PowerBooks do not meet Apple's standards for safety and performance," said Teresa Weaver, a spokeswoman for Apple.

The recall affects only Apple notebooks using PowerPC processors from IBM, not the newer models with chips from Intel, she said.

The affected batteries were built in Sony plants in Japan, Taiwan and China, then sold by Apple between October 2003 and August 2006, both in new computers and as replacements. They include 1.1 million packs sold in the U.S. and 700,000 sold in other countries.

Apple is telling users to remove the faulty cells immediately, so those customers will have to stay near an AC power outlet to use their computers while they wait four to six weeks for a new battery to arrive.

Apple has not yet decided what type of battery it will send users in return, Weaver said. However, the company will collect the faulty ones for safe disposal.

The move comes shortly after Dell announced Aug. 14 it would recall 4.1 million rechargeable batteries for its laptops, the largest recall in the history of the consumer electronics industry.

The defect in Dell's batteries, which Sony also manufactured, happened when tiny metal shards left over from the manufacturing process pierced the battery cell walls, causing a short circuit by touching an anode or cathode. Apple did not describe the cause of its own problem, but it involves the same type of battery.

This new recall could have harsh financial implications for Sony, which pledged to help pay for Dell's recall. However, Apple said the recall will not affect its bottom line.

"We do not anticipate this recall to have a material financial impact on Apple," Weaver said. "Our number-one priority is to recall and replace the affected batteries free of charge."

Apple is recalling the following batteries:

12-inch iBook G4; Battery model number: A1061; Serial number range: ZZ338 through ZZ427, 3K429 through 3K611, 6C510 through 6C626

12-inch PowerBook G4; Battery model number: A1079; Serial number range: ZZ411 through ZZ427, 3K428 through 3K611

15-inch PowerBook G4; Battery model number: A1078 and A1148 3K425 through 3K601, 6N530 through 6N551, 6N601

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Ben Ames

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?