Updated at 2:15 p.m. PDT with the names and quantities of notebooks affected by each manufacturer.
More than two years after the largest battery recall in the electronics industry, Sony batteries have been fingered again as the culprit in more than 40 worldwide incidents of laptops overheating.
Sony and the Consumer Product Safety Commission will announce Thursday afternoon that Sony is supporting the voluntary recall of 100,000 notebook battery packs powered by Sony's 2.15Ah lithium ion cells. Thirty-five thousand of those were sold in the U.S., and 65,000 in international markets. Sony says it has shipped 260 million of these batteries since 2002.
According to the CPSC, 32,000 Hewlett-Packard notebooks, 3,000 Toshiba notebooks, and 150 Dell notebooks are said to be affected. Sony has said that its Vaio notebooks are not included in the recall as they use a different type of battery.
The 2.15Ah lithium ion battery is also not the same Sony battery involved in the massive 2006 recall, according to the company. This also, so far, appears to be on a much smaller scale than during 2006, when more than 8 million notebook batteries were recalled.
Sony says it first received reports of problems with the 2.15Ah batteries in June 2005. Since then, PC manufacturers have received reports of 40 overheating incidents worldwide. Some of the overheating resulted in smoke or flames, leading to some "small burns," and about half of the incidents included "minor property damage," according to Sony and the CPSC.
Sony believes the battery problems are isolated to some 2.15Ah batteries manufactured between October 2004 and June 2005.
"Machine settings were adjusted more frequently than usual on one line from October 2004 to June 2005, and we believe that a combination of such adjustments may have affected the quality of cells in certain manufacturing lots, creating the potential for such cells to overheat on rare occasion," said a Sony representative.
Sony says it has not received any reports of overheating on any of the batteries produced after 2006.
Affected models include: HP Pavilion dv1000, dv8000, and zd8000, Compaq Presario v2000 and v2400, and HP Compaq nc6110, nc6120, nc6140, nc6220, nc6230, nx4800, nx4820, nx6110, nx6120, nx9600; Toshiba Satellite A70/A75, P30/P5, M30X/M35X, and M50/M55; and Dell Latitude 110L, Inspiron 1100, 1150, 5100, 5150, and 5160.