Apple, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, said it would voluntarily recall about 28,000 rechargeable batteries used in its 15-inch PowerBook G4 notebooks.
According to the CPSC, an internal short can cause the battery cells to overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Apple Computer Inc., based in Cupertino, Calif., reported only four instances of the lithium-ion batteries overheating, and no injuries have been reported.
The recalled batteries have been built into the “aluminum” 15-inch PowerBook G4 laptop computer, the agency said.
The batteries, which contain cells manufactured only during the last week of December 2003, have the model number A1045 and serial numbers that begin with HQ404, HQ405, HQ406, HQ407 or HQ408. The model and serial numbers can be found on a label on the bottom of the battery.
The recall is the second to affect the PowerBook line. In 2001, Apple recalled about 570,000 AC adapters worldwide that were sold with prior-generation PowerBook G3 notebooks. The AC adapters could overheat, posing a fire hazard.
When asked if Apple would source the PowerBook G4s batteries from another supplier in the future, Apple spokesman Tom Neumayr declined to comment.
The batteries used in the G4 notebooks were manufactured by LG Chem Ltd. of South Korea, were built into the Apple notebooks and also were sold separately. Consumers should stop using the recalled batteries immediately and contact Apple to arrange for a replacement battery, free of charge, the agency said. The notebooks can be operated without an internal battery, although they must be plugged into an AC outlet.
Apple said it recommends that all affected customers return their batteries for replacement, even if there have been no apparent problems.
Customers who are concerned that they might have a defective battery can call Apple at (800) 275-2273 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Central time Monday through Sunday, or go to Apples Web site set up to deal with the recall. The process will take between three and five days, Apple said.