Since this story was originally posted, it has been updated to add information regarding Toshiba’s expanded battery exchange announcement.
Lenovo Group, the third-largest PC maker in the world, on Thursday said it would recall some 526,000 laptop batteries that contain Sony-made power cells due to potential fire hazard, adding it to the list of computer makers that have recalled Sony batteries over the past couple of months, The Wall Street Journal reports.
Last week, various media sources reported on an incident at Los Angeles International Airport in which a man’s Lenovo ThinkPad laptop began smoking and sparking. There were no associated injuries reported. The laptop at issue contained the same type of Sony-made batteries that were recalled by both Dell, the world’s largest producer of PCs, and Apple Computer in August. Dell was forced to recall roughly 4.1 million laptop batteries and Apple recalled 1.8 million.
Sony has said it will help foot the bill for both recalls, and it estimated their cash impact to be between $170 million and $255 million, according to the Journal.
Just last week, Toshiba also said it would exchange 340,000 laptop batteries with Sony-made fuel cells due to potential fire hazard. Following Lenovo’s Thursday recall announcement, Toshiba also offered to exchange a further 830,000 batteries that included Sony-made power cells.
Sony said it will support the Lenovo recall, which was jointly announced by Lenovo and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Journal reports. Sony also said it would start a “global replacement program for certain battery packs that utilize Sony-manufactured lithium ion cells used by notebook computer manufacturers in order to address concerns related to recent over-heating incidents,” according to the Journal.
Lenovo took over IBM’s PC business in the spring of 2005, and currently all IBM PCs are made by Lenovo, the Journal reports.
The recall affects nine IBM ThinkPad model laptops sold between the months of February 2005 and September 2006, according to the Journal.
Lenovo also said it had received two separate reports similar to the incident at the airport in Los Angeles in both Japan and the Netherlands, the Journal reports.
Ray Gorman, a Lenovo spokesman, said, “Quite frankly, we still haven’t reached any final conclusions about what went wrong.”
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