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Lenovo and IBM recall fire hazard batteries

Antony Savvas

Lenovo and IBM are recalling 526,000 laptop batteries after one of Lenovo’s ThinkPad notebooks caught fire at Los Angeles International airport earlier this month.

The batteries were manufactured by Sony, and the move follows the recall of 6m Sony laptop batteries by Dell and Apple, and a further 350,000 by Toshiba due to potential fire hazard. 

The Lenovo/IBM recall appears to have forced Sony to make a general recall of all potentially affected batteries supplied to all laptop makers.

In a statement, Sony said, “Sony Corporation will initiate a global replacement programme for certain battery packs that utilise Sony-manufactured lithium ion cells used by notebook computer manufacturers in order to address concern related to recent over-heating incidents.

"Sony is discussing this plan with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and will co-ordinate with other government authorities as required. We will announce details of the programme in the near future.”

It has taken Lenovo and IBM two weeks to order their recall, following the widely reported laptop fire at LA International.

Lenovo bought IBM’s PC business 18 months ago, but the two still work as partners in the PC channel.

A statement from the pair said they were working in co-operation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission “on the voluntary recall of approximately 526,000 lithium-ion batteries worldwide, manufactured by Sony Corporation”.

The statement said, “Lenovo has confirmed that these batteries can be subject to overheating, posing a potential fire hazard, and Lenovo is advising customers to check if they are using one of the affected batteries.”

The recalled batteries were sold with or sold separately to be used with a range of ThinkPad notebooks, including T Series (T43, T43p, T60), X Series (X60, X60s), and R Series (R51e, R52, R60,
R60e) models.

Additionally, said Lenovo, since these batteries work with any T4x Series or R5x Series system, customers who ordered an extra battery or received a replacement battery for any T4x or R5x Series notebook PC between February 2005 and September 2006, may also have a battery that needs to be sent back.

Lenovo said customers must use their laptops on AC power only until they received a replacement.

The company estimates that between 5% and 10% of ThinkPad notebooks sold during the period of February 2005 to September 2006 are affected by the recall. Sony has agreed to financially support the recall, said Lenovo.

 


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