Lenovo Group will begin recalling Sony batteries used in certain models of its IBM ThinkPads, the company and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced Sept. 28.
Lenovo will voluntarily recall about 168,500 Sony battery packs that had been used in IBM ThinkPad notebooks in the United States.
The Raleigh, N.C.-based computer marker now joins Dell and Apple Computer in recalling notebooks batteries that have caused fires and, in some cases, minor injuries to users.
At the same time, Sony announced that it would start a global replacement program for certain battery packs that had been used in notebooks.
Problems with the Sony batteries Lenovo used first surfaced at Los Angeles International Airport earlier in September, when a IBM ThinkPad T43 caught fire.
Lenovo, which purchased IBMs PC group in May 2005, obtained the LAX ThinkPad, and began an investigation to determine if the pack contained Sony battery cells of the same type that have been involved in overheating incidents and fires reported by Dell and Apple.
Not long after the investigation began, a chorus of industry analysts voiced their opinion that the company would have to start a recall, following earlier pledges by Dell and Apple.
Improperly manufactured lithium-ion battery cells produced by Sony were at the root of the recall of 4.1 million batteries by Dell on Aug. 14 and the recall of 1.8 million battery packs by Apple on Aug. 24.
Right after Dell and Sony announced the first recall, Lenovo and Hewlett-Packard each said they had used Sony battery cells, but said they were confident that they would avoid similar problems because their designs use different charging and battery protection schemes.
Lenovo and Sony said the company would replace any batteries for free.