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Sony cells found to be culprit for Acer laptop battery recall

The Sony laptop battery fiasco of 2006 is stepping into 2007, as Acer has announced a recall of certain notebook computer lithium-ion batteries containing Sony-made cells. About 27,000 cells are affected, and Acer is recommending that applicable consumers should only use the notebook computer using AC power until a replacement battery pack is received.

Laptops containing the affected batteries are in the TravelMate and Aspire series with model numbers starting with 242, 320, 321, 330, 422, 467, 561, C20, 556, 560, 567, 930, 941 and 980. These laptops were sold in the U.S. and Canada between May 2004 and November 2006. A special Web site has been set up for owners of Acer laptops to compare their serial numbers with those in the affected range.

Over 10 million lithium ion laptop batteries have been recalled worldwide since last year. A long list of computer manufacturers has felt the effects of the defective batteries, including Sony, Dell, Apple, Lenovo and Toshiba.

In the interest and concern of consumers, the IEEE announced last November that it will revise its laptop battery standards to improve overall performance while make systems more reliable. Meanwhile, battery engineers are hard at work to develop new, safer battery technologies. Panasonic is now producing laptops with an improved lithium ion battery technology that safeguards against overheating.

“When any supplier has a problem, it creates concern for the technology itself. The challenge that we must meet is to reassure the public that Lithium-ion batteries are safe,” said Michael Buckner, senior manager for Panasonic's Energy Solutions Lab, in an interview with DailyTech. “Safety has always been the number one priority at Panasonic. The incidents last year just reconfirmed that we need to maintain safety first in our designs.”

Sony may be looking to an alternate form of lithium-based battery technology, called lithium polymer, which it claims to be safer and more powerful than lithium ion. “There is not too much more power we want to cram into lithium ion,” said Sony Electronics president Stan Glasgow, adding that he believes that the next big battery technology will be lithium polymer-based.

While nearly all notebook computers on the market today use lithium, Apple started shipping lithium polymer batteries with several of its MacBooks as of late October. Lithium polymer batteries are already being widely used today in some newer models of PDAs and cell phones.

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By sieistganzfett on 4/26/2007 11:32:18 AM , Rating: 2
acer now, i didnt know this until i read the article, some of my clients may have been sold affected laptops since we like selling acer laptops and hp desktops. gotta check that...

RE: nuts
By AmazingRando on 4/26/2007 3:48:14 PM , Rating: 3
The vast majority of Acer batteries are made by Sanyo, AFAIK there have been no Sanyo or Panasonic battery recalls issued - EVERY manufacturer facing recalls in the last year has been due to shoddy quality control at Sony, exclusively.

RE: nuts
By Spartan Niner on 4/26/2007 9:44:07 PM , Rating: 2
In other news, an Acer representative was answering press questions about the reasons behind the battery recall when he let out an embarrassing slip: "We believe our products are fine, but we are taking precautionary measures by implementing a recall. Better safe than Sony... I mean, sorry!"

Sony representatives were unavailable for comment.

RE: nuts
By KristopherKubicki on 4/27/2007 5:30:16 AM , Rating: 2
Well, except the Sanyo recall that just happened at Lenovo:

This is why Sony is HOT
By Spartan Niner on 4/26/2007 12:10:43 PM , Rating: 5
"Sony, the hottest name in batteries!"

RE: This is why Sony is HOT
By RamarC on 4/26/2007 6:48:45 PM , Rating: 3
i wish my laptop was affected. i could use a fresh new battery!

Not too much power my ass
By mindless1 on 4/27/2007 2:05:49 AM , Rating: 2
Son, Acer, et al, all of them have a clear choice. Given any battery technology they choose what charger and discharge rate to use.

If the given battery technology can't meet their selfish demands, they merely had to put another celll or more in the pack, or use higher capacity cells.

NO, they couldn't do THAT, it would effect their profits! Instead they ran cells until reaching bare minimum margins to extract extra cents from a buyer.

Granted, I am ignoring the Sony defective batteries, intentionally so because it is crazy that in this day and age you might buy a new laptop and still get a mere 4 hours runtime.

By sprockkets on 4/27/2007 8:16:43 AM , Rating: 2
My battery was made in Japan before it was replaced, now it is made in Korea, so is it made now by Samsung?

By Ihmemies on 4/27/2007 6:06:46 PM , Rating: 2
This whole battery recall fiasco is a major crime against enviroment and humankind! All the fuss & waste just because a small fire _might_ happen? It's not like the batteries have exploded like rockets in new year's eve.

And now many more poor chinese factory workers will die when manufacturing new, "safer" batteries for rich white people.

It's just all about PR. They had to recall batteries because people would have gone ape**** without.

"Spreading the rumors, it's very easy because the people who write about Apple want that story, and you can claim its credible because you spoke to someone at Apple." -- Investment guru Jim Cramer

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