updated 03:00 pm EDT, Thu September 28, 2006
Lenovo recalls batteries
Lenovo today recalled 526,000 notebook batteries following an incident at Los Angeles International Airport several days ago, where a Lenovo ThinkPad burst into flames. The recalled batteries were manufactured by Sony between February 2005 and September 2006, covering most R-, T-, and X-series ThinkPads. The more mainstream 3000 series, however, is unaffected by the recall, according to Electronista. Apple recalled 1.8 million similarly defective notebook batteries made by Sony in late August, just after Dell recalled 4.1 million bad batteries -- also made by Sony -- used in its Inspiron, Latitude, Precision, and XPS portable systems. Sony today said it will issue an even larger global battery recall of its own, working with system builders to exchange batteries for any company that might have used the fire-prone units in its portable systems. While the company didn't announce any specific plans, it did say it will work with laptop producers on a case-by-case basis to ensure they receive enough new batteries in time.
Both Apple and Dell announced in late August that the companies would join Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo at a summit meeting in San Jose, California to discuss manufacturing standards for lithium-ion based batteries made for portable as well as handheld electronics. Several major airlines expressed concern over laptops containing Sony lithium-ion batteries, with Qantas Airways considering placing restrictions on the use of Mac laptops in its aircraft. Virgin Atlantic Airways on Monday finally lifted its ban on in-flight use of Apple and Dell notebook batteries, but Korean Air enacted a similar ban on Apple and Dell laptop usage during flights earlier this month.
Japan even asked Apple to investigate a Mac laptop fire involving a defective Sony battery in late August, which reportedly erupted into flame inflicting minor burns upon the user. Additionally, at least one school delayed the distribution of more than 600 iBooks to its students following reports and confirmations of battery fires, as well as Apple's recall.