Apple last week announced a voluntary recall of 1.8 million iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 batteries due to potential overheating issues. The affected lithium-ion batteries were manufactured by Sony and are related to the batteries recently recalled by Dell (see “Dell Recalls 4.1 Million Batteries,” 21-Aug-06). The batteries were sold between October 2003 and August 2006. Affected batteries include:
Since the announcement, some people have had trouble with Apple’s Web form, mostly with serial numbers that fall within the published range not being acknowledged. According to some reports, attempts that failed on the first few days after the announcement have subsequently worked as Apple fixes the bugs in the form-checking code. If you’re still not having any luck, you can also call Apple and see if a person can accept the number manually. Note that not all batteries within the published ranges were made by Sony, and thus aren’t affected (this might account for the more-specific “ending with” phrases now included).
According to information posted by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns from handling overheated computers and other reports of minor property damage. No serious injuries were reported.”
Sony expects the Dell and Apple battery recalls to cost between $172 million and $258 million, and even if the recall doesn’t hurt Apple’s bottom line, it’s still a distraction and potential reputation hit with people who don’t realize the fault lies with Sony.