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Gateway recalls notebook batteries

The PC maker says it is voluntarily taking back 14,000 notebook batteries, but this time, they're not made by Sony.

Gateway is recalling 14,000 lithium-ion notebook batteries, the company said Tuesday.

The announcement comes after four reports of Gateway notebooks overheating over the last few years. One of the incidents caused "minor property damage," according to Gateway. The batteries in question are used in two models of its notebooks, the 400VTX and 450ROG, sold in the U.S. between May and August 2003.

"The root cause of this battery failure became apparent as the batteries aged and performed repetitive recharging cycles. After an in-depth analysis of the four reported incidents, Gateway took proactive measures to launch a voluntary battery exchange program in the interest of customer safety," said company spokeswoman Lisa Emard.

Gateway says Simplo battery packs containing Samsung cells are to blame in the four incidents. This recall is separate from last year's massive recall of more than 10 million Sony-made notebook batteries by most of the major PC manufacturers, including Dell, Apple, Lenovo, Acer, Gateway and others. The Sony batteries in question were short circuiting due to a defect in the manufacturing process, and PC makers were forced to look to other battery makers, like Simplo, to fill emergency orders.

Gateway says customers can contact the company directly to find out if their battery is on the list and get a free replacement.