Lenovo recalls 526,000 Sony laptop batteries; Sony to initiate global battery replacement program

“Sony Corp. said Thursday it will initiate a global replacement program for certain battery packs that use its lithium ion cells in notebook computers, in order to address concerns related to recent over-heating incidents. Sony said it is discussing its plan with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and will announce details in the near future. Sony said it has been supporting the recent recall of battery packs for computers from Dell Inc. and Apple Computer Inc. Earlier Thursday, Lenovo Group Ltd. and International Business Machines Corp. initiated a voluntary recall of about 526,000 lithium-ion batteries worldwide manufactured by Sony,” Gabriel Madway reports for MarketWatch.

Full article here.

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Virgin Atlantic bans use of all Apple, Dell notebook batteries in-flight – September 18, 2006
Korean Air bans use of Apple PowerBooks, iBooks, and all Dell laptop models during flight – September 05, 2006
Dell Japan President blames Sony for recall of fire hazardous batteries – August 29, 2006
Sony-made battery fire in discontinued Apple notebook computer reported in Japan – August 29, 2006
Apple to recall 1.8 million Sony-made iBook G4, PowerBook G4 batteries – August 24, 2006
Apple, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and others working on battery standard – August 23, 2006
Qantas first airline to restrict in-flight Dell laptop use due to fire-prone batteries – August 23, 2006
Dell and Sony knew about battery problems nearly a year ago, waited for catastrophic failures – August 21, 2006
Dell issues largest safety recall in history: 4.1 million laptop batteries due to fire threat – August 14, 2006
Another Dell laptop goes up in flames – July 28, 2006
Dell laptop fires may have been downplayed – July 22, 2006
NY Times: Dell’s exploding laptop and other image problems – July 10, 2006
Dell laptop explodes into flames at Japanese conference – June 21, 2006


  1. “Always some jerk that has to make everything a shot at Microsoft. Get a life.”

    Microsoft haven’t given us much good to praise them about in recent years, have they. Its much easier to critize them and make them the butt of jokes.

    MW: help – something Microsoft needs a lot of

  2. Goddamm, that must be one HUUUUUGE battery!

    And it caught fire while shoved up Steve Ballmer’s (aka “monkey-boy”) ass that day on stage.

    He was jumping up and down shouting “develpors, developers, developers!!” and waving the smoke pouring out of his ass hoping they come pull the flaming battery out.

  3. Damn!

    It’s about time somebody took responsibility. They would have let this slide if they could.

    You can almost hear their insider corporate meeting “well, how many people will actually be hurt by fires from our Sony batteries bursting into flames” or “can we put the blame somewhere else or is it totally obvious our manufacturing screw up is killing people?”

  4. Sony is well and truly in the toilet. Y’know, I gave them a pass for so long, but now even I think twice before buying their products. I bought a pair of noise-cancelling headphones a few days ago. Last year, I probably would have made a knee-jerk choice to buy the Sony model, but when I saw the Sony brand all I could think of was “PS3, Digital Walkman, bad batteries, rootkit… Sony is crap”. I ended up buying a pair from Phillips.

  5. Lets review what happened here:

    1. A number of Dells catch fire. Dell tries to hide it but it keeps coming back. One is caught on camera and makes the mainstream news – Dell is caught.

    There is some talk that Dell has insufficient heat detection circuitry on their laptops (doubtlessly this saved $0.000001 so it was worthwhile, obviously ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> ).

    The bad publicity keeps going so Dell has to bite the bullet and issue a huge recall, the largest electronic device recall in history.

    2. Apple DOES NOT have many reported incidents that make the news, as I recall, maybe one.

    Apple does the right thing and issues a big recall, giving Dell cover (note to Dell: you owe Apple big time for that – they could have left you twisting in the wind for a while – they didn’t have to move so quickly.).

    3. A while later Toshiba issues a smaller recall, but they, like Apple don’t wait until there is a fire. They were much later than Apple tho – looks bad that they waited, but at least they didn’t wait for a bad fire. If one happened, it didn’t make the news.

    4. Last weekend an IBM/Lenovo notebook catches fire in an airport. ONLY THEN does IBM/Lenovo check into things and issue a recall.

    They should be charged for waiting this long.

    5. I haven’t heard anything from everybody else that makes laptops – guess they haven’t had enough fires.

    Since Dell, Apple, Toshiba, IBM all have Sony batteries, surely HP, Sony (especially), NEC, Gateway, Acer also do – obviously the Sony batteries were the cheapest for a while, so, obviously all the cost cutters (err, make that pc laptop manufactures) used them.

    6. Apple should get an award for what they did – acting proactively BEFORE there was a major bad incident.

    AND everybody else should get fined (well, except for Toshiba).

  6. grumpy:

    Microsoft HAS this problem – a grevious design flaw in windows, whereby the default mode on the computer is to run as the superuser while the computer is connected to the internet.

    Since the internet is worldwide, the entire world, good and bad, is essentially in your neighbourhood. This is like buying a house in a bad part of town with no locks on the windows and doors.

    This problem has cost the industry billions. And the poor, unsophisticated home user is left high and dry.

    (in fairness, it hasn’t caused any fires, at least not directly and obviously).

    What did Microsoft do? Nothing.

    Vista is supposed to fix this, but given Microsoft’s track record, I’ll wait until objective professionals weigh in.

    And, Microsoft is going to capitalize on this by attempting to take over the “we’ll sorta kludge around the lack of access control” market (also known as the anti-virus market).

    In order to maintain this market that Microsoft now wants, they had better leave plenty of holes in Vista’s “security”. But I’m sure they did, deliberately or not.

    This is absolutely like the Mafia going around and breaking people’s legs who don’t buy “protection”.

    How about not breaking people’s legs in the first place/not running as the super user?

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