updated 01:40 pm EDT, Thu August 24, 2006
Apple recalls batteries
Apple today in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a voluntary recall of its rechargeable lithium-ion batteries with cells manufactured by Sony for certain iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 notebooks. The recalled batteries can overheat, according to Apple, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Apple said it has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns from handling overheated computers and other reports of minor property damage. Affected models include the 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4, and 15-inch PowerBook G4. Apple is instructing owners of these notebooks to remove the battery from the computer to view the model and serial numbers labeled on the bottom of the unit.
Batteries that shipped with 12-inch iBook G4 laptops eligible for a free replacement under the recall display a model number of A1061, with serial numbers: ZZ338 through ZZ427, 3K429 through 3K611, and 6C510 through 6C626.
12-inch PowerBook G4 notebook owners eligible for a free replacement under the recall must possess a battery with model number A1079, displaying a serial number falling within ZZ411 through ZZ427 or 3K428 through 3K611.
Batteries that shipped with 15-inch PowerBook G4 notebooks eligible for a free replacement under the recall display model numbers of A1078 and A1148, with serial numbers: 3K425 through 3K601, 6N530 through 6N551, and 6N601.
Owners of iBook G3 laptops who recently purchased or received an extra battery for an iBook G3 are also asked to check the battery serial number, as some replacement batteries may be affected by the recall.
If you participated in a previous battery recall for any of these computer models or recently purchased or received from Apple an extra battery for an iBook G3, please check your battery serial number in case you received a replacement battery that is affected by this program.
Apple estimates roughly 1.1 million faulty battery packs were sold in the U.S., with another 700,000 sold outside the country.
Recalled batteries were sold through Apple's online store, Apple retail stores nationwide, and Apple Authorized Resellers from October 2003 through August 2006 in notebooks priced between $900 and $2,300. Faulty batteries were also sold separately for about $130.
Apple is suggesting users remove the recalled batteries and contact the company to arrange for a free replacement, free of charge. Users requiring the use of their systems are advised to plug their laptops into the AC adapter until a replacement battery arrives.
Sony today announced that it supports Apple's decision to recall batteries manufactured by the company, and said it anticipates no further recalls of batteries using the particular battery cells currently responsible for Apple's recall. [updated]