Apple Recalling 1.8 Mln Sony-made Batteries

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Last week, it was Dell announcing a massive recall of 4.1 million notebook batteries made by Sony; this week, Sony’s manufacturing problems have come to roost in Apple Computer‘s tree: in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Apple has announced the recall of 1.8 million batteries which shipped in iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 systems from October 2003 through August 2006. Some 1.1 million of the batteries were sold in the United States; 700,000 were sold internationally. Apple will replace the recalled batteries free of charge. The batteries shipped in Apple’s 12-inch iBook G4 computers, and 12-inch and 15-inch PowerBook G4 systems.

Apple says it has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including reports of minor property damage and two reports of users receiving minor burns from handling overheated computers.

Apple says users should stop using recalled batteries immediately, powering their computers from the AC adapter instead. Users can visit Apple’s battery support program Web site (currently swamped) to determine if their battery has been recalled, or contact Apple at 800/275-2273 between 8 A.M. and 8 P.M. Central time Monday through Sunday. (No, we don’t know what Monday through Sunday means either.) Users will need to power down their computer and remove their battery to access its model and serial number to determine if a particular battery is part of the recall.

Computer Model Battery Model Number Battery Serial Numbers
12-inch iBook G4 A1061 ZZ338 through ZZ427
3K429 through 3K611
6C510 through 6C626
12-inch PowerBook G4 A1079 ZZ411 through ZZ427
3K428 through 3K611
15-inch PowerBook G4 A1078 and A1148 3K425 through 3K601
6N530 through 6N551

At the time Dell announced its battery recall, Apple said it was examining its product lines to determine whether any action needed to be taken; computer maker HP—which also uses batteries manufactured by Sony—has said its systems are not affected by the recall issue.