Toshiba Recalls 830,000 Sony Notebook Batteries

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Date: Tuesday, September 19th, 2006, 23:47
Category: battery

Toshiba said Tuesday it would replace about 340,000 laptop computer batteries made by Sony, the latest in a string of Sony battery woes.

The batteries, used in Dynabook and Dynabook Satellite laptops manufactured between March and May this year, could fail on the road because of problems with storing and transmitting power, Toshiba spokesman Keisuke Ohmori said.

Ohmori declined to estimate the cost of the move, saying it would not affect earnings, and would not say whether Toshiba was asking Sony to foot the bill.

Toshiba recalls 340,000 Sony laptop batteries | Tech News on ZDNet

UPDATED 2006-1004:

The actual number of batteries recalled has increased to 830,000 according to ZDNet.


Panasonic Recalls 6,000 Notebook Batteries

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Date: Wednesday, September 6th, 2006, 08:00
Category: battery

Matsushita, better-known by its Panasonic brand name, joined the party this week with its own recall of 6,000 notebook batteries sold in Japan. This most recent recall isn’t nearly as large as the ones that involved 4.1 million batteries sold by Dell and 1.8 million batteries sold by Apple, but it’s another example of the care and attention being paid to notebook batteries these days.

Of course, it’s not just notebook batteries that are causing problems. In June, Hewlett-Packard announced a recall of about 679,000 digital cameras that could catch fire if the cameras tried to apply a charge to a nonrechargable battery. Cell phone makers have dealt with problems from batteries for years, including several reported incidents of exploding phones. With scary footage of flaming notebooks on the evening news and the Internet, many notebook users want to know if their system could be at risk. Here’s a list of who has recalled batteries so far, and where to turn for information.

Panasonic joins notebook battery recall | CNET


iBook G4 Catches Fire, Japan Orders Investigation

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Date: Wednesday, August 30th, 2006, 09:11
Category: battery

Japanese authorities reported Tuesday the first case of an Apple laptop catching fire in Japan and ordered the U.S. company to investigate the trouble involving the faulty Sony batteries and report back within a week.

An iBook G4 laptop made by Apple Computer Inc. overheated and caught fire in April, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said. The user sustained minor burns after the computer caught fire, according to Apple spokeswoman Michiko Matsumoto, who confirmed the case.

Japan orders Apple to probe laptops – Tech News & Reviews –


Portable Macs Facing Commercial Aircraft Usage Restrictions

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Date: Monday, August 28th, 2006, 09:13
Category: battery

The Australian-based Qantas Airlines already placed a restriction on using Dells on their planes (the machines either have to run solely on battery power, or plugged in, sans-battery), and now they’re considering clamping down on Macs as well. Qantas is currently investigating the actual threat that Apple’s recalled batteries might or might not pose.

Macs on a plane – The Unofficial Apple Weblog (TUAW)


Apple Revises Recalled Battery List

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Date: Monday, August 28th, 2006, 08:24
Category: battery

Before you count yourself out of Apple’s recent battery recall, have another look at the Battery Exchange Program iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 on Apple’s site–the list of recalled batteries has changed since it was first reported. Here’s the new list…

Computer model Battery model number Serial number range
12-inch iBook G4 A1061 ZZ338 – ZZ427
3K429 – 3K611
6C519 – 6C552 ending with S9WA, S9WC or S9WD
12-inch PowerBook G4 A1079 ZZ411 – ZZ427
3K428 – 3K611
15-inch PowerBook G4 A1078 and A1148 3K425 – 3K601
6N530 – 6N551 ending with THTA, THTB, or THTC
6N601 ending with THTC Your ‘Book battery wasn’t recalled? Check again. Apple revises list.


Apple Recalls 1.8 Million PowerBook and iBook Batteries

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Date: Thursday, August 24th, 2006, 15:36
Category: battery

Apple is recalling certain lithium-ion, rechargable batteries that were used with various models of its portable lines sold between October 2003 and August 2006. There is a possibility that these batteries can overheat, which could cause a fire risk.

Affected machines sold in the United States include:

* Apple PowerBook G4 12-inch and PowerBook G4 15-inch

* Apple iBook/G4 12-inch

These batteries were also sold as replacement batteries for the listed models.

Apple is prepared to dispatch a replacement battery upon the receipt of the replacement order. Customers will be asked to return their old batteries to Apple to ensure proper disposal. A postage-paid envelope will be provided to do so.

No other PowerBook or iBook batteries are part of this recall and no MacBook and MacBook Pro batteries are part of this recall. The recall involves the specified batteries only, not the computers themselves.

Apple Battery Recall


WSJ: Laptop Dangers Draw Scrutiny From Airline-Safety Regulators

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 09:25
Category: battery

It appears that notebook computer batteries are the latest focus of airline safety regulators after a series or high profile explosions, fires and recalls in recent months. Could the airlines ban all electronics from commercial flights? It’s unlikely as business travelers (the most lucrative category for the troubled airlines) would surely revolt. A WSJ article (sub. req’d) goes into the details and why you may want to skip the after market batteries:

Although the risk is small, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has documented 339 cases of lithium and lithium-ion batteries for portable electronics overheating, emitting smoke and fumes or exploding since 2003. There is no record of a serious injury or death, but the Federal Aviation Administration has logged 60 incidents since 1991. In the past two years, six incidents have occurred on aircraft, including five fires and an overheated flashlight that had to be handled with oven mitts.

In February, a United Parcel Service Inc. plane full of packages — including lithium-ion batteries — was engulfed in flames while landing in Philadelphia. Investigators haven’t reached a final ruling on the cause but continue to closely examine the melted shipment of batteries. In October 2004, a plane carrying Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards made an emergency landing after a lithium-ion battery exploded in the hand of a television newsman.

Worries about the possible dangers are serious enough that the National Transportation Safety Board held a two-day hearing in July in Washington to discuss the safety of lithium-ion batteries on passenger and cargo planes and the investigation into the UPS fire. No formal proposal for new regulations has yet been put forward, but regulators are discussing options ranging from tightening manufacturing guidelines for the batteries to potentially restricting their use on – Laptop Dangers Draw Scrutiny From Airline-Safety Regulators

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The Apple Core: Dell, Apple notebook batteries linked

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Date: Tuesday, August 15th, 2006, 09:01
Category: battery

dell-battery-barcode.jpgThe world’s largest personal computer maker, Dell Inc., announced yesterday that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries with cells made by Sony Corp., the largest recall in Dell’s history. MacFixIt has inferred that the recalled Dell batteries could be the same Sony batteries used by Apple.
Read the rest of the story on my ZDNet Blog: The Apple Core.


Anatomy of a Battery Exchange

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Date: Friday, August 4th, 2006, 08:00
Category: battery

mbp-15-battery-A1175.jpgEarlier this week I reported on Apple’s recall, ahem exchange, of early MacBook Pro batteries.
After having shutdown issues with my original week 7 MacBook Pro battery (serial number 6N606) in late May I called AppleCare and it was promptly replaced with a new battery. The new battery is from an entirely new batch with a new serial number format beginning with an asterisks (*KF61918QTY4B).
After noting that my backup MBP battery was in the serial number range covered by Apple’s official exchange program (serials ending in U7SA, U7SB or U7SC) I completed Apple’s online form on Monday July 31 and receive my replacement battery yesterday (August 3).
The MBP battery I exchanged (serial number of 6N609ASSU7SC) was purchased about a month after I received my MacBook Pro and the new battery’s serial number also begins with an asterisks (*3K62935GWCRA).
Note: You must calibrate a new MacBook Pro battery to obtain the maximum lifespan. Calibrating a MBP battery involves charging it to 100 percent, then leaving it connected to power for two more hours. Then disconnect the AC adapter and run it until it goes to sleep and allow it to sleep for at least five hours. Once this is done, recharge it again normally.
What is your MacBook Pro battery’s serial number? Any problems with it? (Comments are now unauthenticated and don’t require an email so chime in!)