Safety Recall- not just DELL, sony battery...
Apple To Recall 1.8 Million Batteries
Japanese Trade Ministry Calls For Investigation
CBS News Photos: Apple Laptop On Fire
(CBS News) SAN FRANCISCO Apple Computer Inc. on Thursday recalled 1.8 million Sony-built laptop batteries that could overheat and catch fire.
Cupertino, Calif.-based Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two consumers who received minor burns after handling overheated computers. Apple has also received reports of minor property damage, but no serious injuries have been reported.
"These lithium-ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers," the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement.
Apple's recall comes two weeks after Dell Inc.'s recall of 4.1 million faulty laptop batteries also made by Sony — the largest electronics recall in the Consumer Product Safety Commission's history.
Apple's recall covers 1.1 million lithium-ion batteries in the 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4 laptops sold in the United States from October 2003 through August 2006. It also covers an additional 700,000 laptops sold abroad, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Dell's recall affected about 14 percent of the Latitude, Inspiron, XPS and Precision notebooks sold between April 1, 2004, and July 18 of this year.
Apple is asking consumers to check a Web site, support.apple.com/batteryprogram, to determine whether they have a recalled battery.
Japan's trade ministry on Thursday ordered Sony Corp. and Dell Inc. to investigate the trouble involving Sony batteries that caused last week's Dell recall.
The Japanese ministry said Sony and Dell must report on their findings and say how they will prevent future problems by the end of August, or face a fine under Japan's consumer safety laws.
Lithium-ion batteries manufactured by Sony for Dell laptops imported to Japan overheated and caught fire in at least two separate instances in October and June, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry said in a statement. No one was injured in those incidents, but the fires destroyed the machines, according to ministry official Atsuo Hirai.
The ministry also pointed to problems with battery cells supplied by Sony for Dell computers in other countries, and told the companies to investigate the safety of Dell models Latitude, Inspiron and Precision imported to Japan from April 2005.
The ministry also instructed other Japanese electronic makers to check the safety of their laptop batteries.
Battery packs contain cells of rolled up metal strips. Sony has said that during production, crimping the rolls left tiny shards of metal loose in the cells, and some of those shards can cause batteries to short-circuit.
Dell has already recalled batteries from affected models in Japan. Batteries powering Sony's Vaio laptops don't have the same problems, according to the Tokyo-based manufacturer.
The battery problems, which resulted in the largest recall of electronics-related products in U.S. history, have come as embarrassing news for Round Rock, Texas-based Dell, the world's largest PC maker, and for Sony, which has been trying to overhaul its electronics operations amid a slump in profits.