Fire hazard: Lenovo recalls batteries for ThinkPad computers following incidents

Lenovo ThinkPad E431 keyboard bottom corner

ThinkPad owners might want to check their machine’s battery pack serial number as maker Lenovo has just issued a product recall after discovering the unit could be a fire hazard.

The lithium-ion batteries at the center of the recall shipped worldwide between October 2010 and April 2011, the company said in a statement Thursday, with 34,500 thought to be in circulation in the US and 2,900 in Canada. More than 115,000 units have also been recalled in China, according to Chinese media sources.

Lenovo urged customers with a recalled battery to refrain from using it immediately.

“Until a replacement battery arrives, you should turn off the system, remove the battery, and only power your ThinkPad by plugging in the AC adapter and power cord,” the company said.

Overheating

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the batteries can overheat to such an extent that they pose a fire hazard. It added that although no injuries have yet been reported, two reports have been received of batteries overheating, resulting in damage to computers.

The batteries involved in the recall were sold inside ThinkPad notebooks at electronics stores and authorized dealers across the US, as well as online at www.lenovo.com, during a six-month period from October 2010. The packs may also have been bought separately, usually for between $80 and $150.

Chinese tech firm Lenovo apologized to its customers for the inconvenience, adding that “shipment of quality products always has been and continues to be the foremost concern.”

As you’d expect, Lenovo will exchange the batteries free of charge, regardless of their warranty status. The company estimates it’ll take three business days to process and ship orders, so you should be able to receive the replacement within around 10 days.

For further information on precisely what steps to take, head across to the company’s special webpage here. A full list of the battery serial numbers affected by the recall can be found on the CPSC website here.

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