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Lenovo recalls 200,000 Thinkpad batteries

Sanyo-made fire hazard

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Updated Lenovo is recalling more than 200,000 Thinkpad batteries after some almost caught fire when owners dropped their laptops.

The firm alerted America's Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) when it got four reports of notebooks overheating, following a forceful impact to the corner. One owner suffered "minor eye irritation" as a result, the CPSC said today.

The CPSC said the fire hazard from the Sanyo-made packs was "not an internal battery cell defect". Last year Lenovo got burned by the enormous Sony laptop battery recall, affecting more than 500,000 Thinkpads. In that case, the cell itself was responsible for overheating.

This time around, the Thinkpad models affected are the R Series (R60 and R60e), T Series (T60 and T60p) and Z Series (Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, and Z61p). About 100,000 notebooks were shipped with the incendiary defect, and another 105,000 of the extended life 9-cell batteries were sold as accessories between November 2005 and February 2007.

Information on the recall is here. The CPSC recommends users stop using their Thinkpad until Lenovo ships a free replacement battery. The firm's dedicated battery recall site is here.

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Update

The CPSC told us there's no indication that any other maker's kit is afffected. A spokesman said: "We have no indication ot this being an issue across a whole line of products."

Companies are required to tell the CPSC of safety issues under federal law. Cue laptop corner-hammering programs in Lenovo's competitors' test labs.

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