Apple Recalls 28,000 PowerBook Batteries (UPDATE)

Apple, in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), announced Thursday a voluntary recall of 15" Aluminum PowerBook batteries. The batteries being recalled could potentially overheat, though no injuries relating to the defect have been reported.

The announcement of the recall also says that there is the risk of fire damage, and that the problem stems from an internal short in the batteries. Apple and the CPSC are recommending that users immediately stop using the recalled battery, and that users rely on AC power until their batteries have been replaced.

The batteries in question are from a limited run produced by LG Chem Ltd, a Korean manufacturer, and were manufactured during the last week of December, 2003. The affected batteries have the model number A1045 and serial numbers that begin with HQ404, HQ405, HQ406, HQ407, or HQ408. The batteries were sold from January to August of this year.

Identifying your battery
(Click for larger image)

Apple notes that the model and serial numbers are located on the label on the bottom of the battery, and can be viewed by removing the battery from the computer. Furthermore, the battery is approximately 4.75-inches long by 3.25-inches wide by .75-inches high. Apple is also providing metric measurements of 12 cm long by 8 cm wide by 1.9 cm high.

Apple is providing an online form for starting your recall process. The form requires the serial number from your battery, and can be used to return up to three batteries. Apple will then ship a new battery to you free of charge.

The company is asking recipients to return their recalled batteries in the same envelope in which their new batteries arrived. Apple is also providing a phone number for the recall, 800-275-2273, that can be used if you need to return more than three batteries, of if you have questions relating to the recall.

Appleis recall Web page includes more information, including a brief FAQ. You can find the CPSCis press release at its site.

Scott Wolfson, spokesman for the CPSC told The Mac Observer Apple voluntarily came forward to the commission with the battery problem and that no consumers have reported the problem to CPSC independently.

"Apple was very cooperative in this matter," Mr. Wolfson said. "The company did the right thing and worked together with us."

Mr. Wolfson said the battery problem was a "substantial product hazard", but that there have been no injuries or actual fires caused by the battery overheating, reported to CPSC or Apple.

Mr. Wolfson said reports of over heated batteries or fires has been on the increase lately with computers and cell phones. He said problems have mostly been related to poorly made, counterfit batteries or an actual manufacturing defect, such as in the case of the PowerBook battery.