Lenovo is the latest notebook vendor to announce a battery recall due to
concerns of overheating that could lead to its ThinkPad notebooks catching
Today, Lenovo and IBM said they will cooperate with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC) in a voluntary recall of approximately
526,000 lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Sony for ThinkPad notebooks.
All the programs offer free replacement batteries, and Sony is
believed to be footing most of the expense.
IBM (Quote, Chart) and Lenovo said the affected batteries were
used in notebooks or offered as replacements between February 2005 and
Separately, Sony announced it was initiating a global program for the
replacement of its lithium-ion batteries.
The company said it would provide
more details of the program in the near future after consulting with the
U.S. CPSC and its manufacturing partners.
In a statement released today, Sony repeated its earlier engineering
analysis for what it believes is the cause of the overheating.
Sony said that on rare occasions, microscopic metal particles in the
recalled battery cells may come into contact with
other parts of the battery cell, leading to a possibility of a short circuit
within the cell.
Typically, a battery pack will simply power off when a
cell short-circuit occurs. However, under certain rare conditions, an
internal short circuit may lead to cell overheating and potentially flames.
The potential for this to occur can be affected by variations in the
system configurations found in different notebook computers.
Last month, Lenovo said it was “highly confident” its notebook batteries
would not be subject to recall because it configures its battery packs
differently from Apple (Quote, Chart) and Dell (Quote, Chart) and tested them with Sony engineers.