Thursday, August 24

Sony's flaming batteries

Looks like I'll be getting a new battery for my laptop Real Soon Now:
"Apple has determined that certain lithium-ion batteries containing cells manufactured by Sony Corporation of Japan pose a safety risk that may result in overheating under rare circumstances. The affected batteries were sold worldwide from October 2003 through August 2006 .... Apple is voluntarily recalling the affected batteries and has initiated a worldwide exchange program to provide eligible customers with a new replacement battery, free of charge".
These 1.8 million batteries are apparently made using the same technology that inspired the recent recall of 4.1 million Dell laptop batteries, some of which burst into flames. I guess that would kind of wreck your day. As luck would have it (?) the spare battery I bought is not covered by the recall, only the one that came with it. I wonder if I should wait by the front door until the replacement arrives?

5:30pm update: Apple's support website gives me conflicting advice. On one page, it says that any battery whose serial number starts with 6N601 (along with others listed) should be exchanged. I have one of those. Yet, when I enter that in their online tool it tells me
"This serial number is invalid or does not qualify for the program."
Invalid? Uh, no ... Argh! I tried phoning them; after a brief navigation of the voicemail system, I got a busy signal. Someone at Apple needs to Get A Clue. Or a better database.

26 Aug update: Well, it looks like I won't be getting Fresh New Batteries after all. Apple changed the serial number description to read "6N601 ending with THTC" which no longer matches either of my batteries. Now I don't have to worry about them Spontaneously Combusting. Right, lawyers?

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