Yesterday the company announced another voluntary recall of some 14,000 lithium ion battery packs shipped as the primary or spare battery pack for Gateway 400VTX and 450ROG series notebooks sold during a three-month period from May 2003 to August 2003. The battery packs were sold in the United States through Gateway's Professional and Direct channels, including its Gateway Country stores.
Analyst Roger Kay said he's not surprised problems with Gateway's older notebooks would crop up now. "With battery failure it can often take a long time for problems to surface," Kay, president of Endpoint Technologies Associates, told internetnews.com.
"It could be something activated by wear and tear or being knocked about. There are things that occur that can put the battery in different states, re-crystallize and take several years to fail."
Kay also mentioned that even in the big battery recalls, like Dell's 4.1 million, the number of reports of problems, such as overheating, leading up to the recall was tiny. "A smaller vendor like Gateway might not see the problem surface for years," he said.
Gateway advises customers to contact the company to determine whether their battery packs are part of this recall. Only battery packs identified by part number 6500760 or 6500761 (included on a label on the underside of the battery pack) are affected. Some Gateway systems may have shipped with different battery packs.