Apple Computer Inc. and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall on batteries used in some Apple iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 laptop computers, saying the batteries could overheat and pose a fire hazard to consumers.
About 128,000 units in the United States are affected by the problem, which is an internal short in the batteries made by LG Chem Ltd. of South Korea and assembled in Taiwan and China, the Commission and Apple said.
Apple has received six reports worldwide of batteries overheating, including two reports in the United States.
"Our first concern is for the safety of our customers," Apple said in a statement. "However, we do not expect the cost of the recall to be material to Apple, and our supplier will bear those costs."
The recalled lithium ion batteries are used with the 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4.
The recalled batteries include those with model number A1061, A1078 and A1079 and serial numbers that begin with HQ441 through HQ507 or 3X446 through 3X510.
Consumers should remove the battery from the computer to view the model and serial numbers labeled on the bottom of the unit.
The computers and batteries affected were sold at national and regional retailers, through catalogs and at Apple's online and retail stores sold from October 2004 through May 2005 for between $900 to $2,300. The batteries were also sold separately for about $130.
Users should stop using the batteries immediately and contact Apple to arrange for a replacement battery, free of charge.
Apple can be contacted regarding the battery recall at 1-800-275-2273 or on the following page at the company's Web site: http://www.apple.com/support/batteryexchange.