Lenovo (also applicable to IBM brand) has recalled 205,000 9-cell lithium-ion extended life batteries made by Sanyo that used in ThinkPad notebook computers, of which about 100,000 of the battery packs are in the United States. The battery packs were installed in ThinkPad laptop computers that shipped worldwide between November 2005 and February 2007, where it could cause a fire hazard, overheat and spark if dropped hard on to the ground. This latest round of recall was second for Lenovo, previous recall was part of the recall exercise around September 2006 where 4.1 million lithium-ion notebook batteries made by Sony for various brand such as Dell, Apple and Lenovo were recalled, also due to potential fire hazard.
The problem is not due to internal battery cells defect. Instead, casing design is the problem where if a user drops the laptop to the ground and sustains a hard strong external impact from a certain angle, the battery pack can be damaged.
Lenovo/IBM ThinkPad models which battery packs are affected include R Series (R60 and R60e), T Series (T60 and T60p) and Z Series (Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, and Z61p). The batteries comes with ThinkPad laptop, and may be purchased as optional or replacement batteries for these models too. The recalled 9-cell batteries have the part number FRU P/N 92P1131, which can be found on the battery label. 6-cell batteries are not affected.
Those with recalled battery packs can get a free-of-charge replacement batteries. Lenovo also suggests that those who might be using the laptop in a manner that might subject it to a strong external impact should remove the battery and only power the ThinkPad with an AC adapter.
For more information, visit http://www.lenovo.com/batteryprogram/. In US, customers can also call (800) 426-7378.