Lenovo Recalls ThinkPad Batteries Made by Sanyo

Chinese computer maker Lenovo is recalling 205,000 ThinkPad computer battery packs made by Japan's Sanyo Electric because they pose a fire hazard.

The recall comes after similar recalls of millions of Sony-made batteries in laptop computers from Dell , Apple and Toshiba.

Lenovo and IBM said in September they were recalling more than half
a million notebook computer batteries made by Sony after a computer caught fire at the Los Angeles International Airport.

The lithium-ion extended-life batteries can overheat and cause a fire if they are struck forcefully, such as when they fall to the ground, Lenovo and Sanyo said.

There were four reports in the U.S. of batteries overheating and damaging the notebook and one case in Europe, said Lenovo spokesman Ray Gorman. One of the cases caused minor property damage and another case caused minor eye irritation from smoke and sparks, he said.

"If you have it in your hand and it goes one or two inches and hits the ground, that's not going to do it," Gorman said. "It has to be maybe desktop height."

Sanyo, the world's biggest maker of lithium-ion batteries in 2005 according to research firm J-Star Global, will financially support the recall, the Lenovo spokesman said.

The defect occurred in the joint design of the battery packs, not because of an internal battery cell problem, the two companies said. "From our perspective, we've identified a problem, we've figured it out quickly and we're taking aggressive steps to fix it," said Gorman.

The recall includes about 100,000 battery packs in the United States, the country's Consumer Product Safety Commission said.

No lawsuits have been filed against Sanyo as a result of the defect, said Keith Matulich, a lawyer for Sanyo Energy (USA) Corp.

Lenovo sold the batteries with new ThinkPad notebook PCs or as optional or replacement batteries for the following ThinkPad models: R Series (R60 and R60e), T Series (T60 and T60p) and Z Series (Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, and Z61p).

The recalled 9-cell batteries have the part number FRU P/N 92P1131, which can be found on the battery label.