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IBM Recalls 526,000 Sony Laptop Batteries

IBM Corp. is recalling 526,000 laptop batteries worldwide made by Sony Corp.

IBM Corp. is recalling 526,000 laptop batteries worldwide made by Sony Corp., the latest in a series of problems with Sony batteries, the Consumer Product Safety Commission said Thursday.

IBM and the batteries' distributor, Lenovo Inc. of Research Triangle Park, N.C., were seeking the voluntary recall of the rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries used in ThinkPad notebook computers because they may pose a fire hazard. About 168,500 of them were sold in the U.S., while the rest were distributed worldwide, the CPSC said.

It was the fourth recall in recent months involving Sony batteries believed to be defective. In August, Dell asked customers to return 4.1 million faulty laptop batteries and Apple recalled 1.8 million batteries worldwide, warning they could catch fire. Last week, Toshiba said it was recalling 340,000 laptop batteries due to a problem that caused the laptops to sometimes run out of power.

In the latest recall, Lenova cited a potential risk following one confirmed report of a Sony battery overheating and causing a fire that damaged the notebook computer.

The fire, which occurred in an airport terminal as the user was boarding a plane, caused enough smoke that a fire extinguisher was needed to put it out. There was minor property damage and no injuries were reported.

Julie Vallese, spokeswoman for CPSC, said the overheating problem did not appear to be linked to the defects cited in the Apple and Dell cases. But IBM and Lenova sought a recall as a precaution given Sony's past problems.

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