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!)