Acer recalls dodgy Sony batteries too

By Sarah Falson

TAIWAN: Acer has become the latest computer manufacturer to recall thousands of laptops incorporating faulty Sony-made lithium-ion batteries, nine months after Dell voluntarily recalled 4 million laptops worldwide.

Acer said it will recall 27,000 TravelMate and Aspire laptops sold globally between May 2004 and November 2006.

The batteries, manufactured by Sony Energy Devices Corp, may overheat and create a potential fire hazard in some conditions, according to Acer.

Acer Australia could not confirm the number of potentially-affected models sold in Australia, though the US recall notice supplies a toll free number – 1800 649 256 – which Australian consumers can call to ascertain if their Acer notebook is included in the recall.

A recorded message on the Australian hotline says Acer is performing a “voluntary recall” and an operator was able to confirm that the recall affects people worldwide.

Consumers who own one of the following Acer notebook computers are urged to phone the above number and quote their battery-pack serial number to organise a free replacement:

TravelMate laptops beginning with 242x, 320x, 321x, 330x, 422x, 467x, 561x and C20x, and Aspire laptops beginning with 556x, 560x, 567x, 930x, 941x and 980x.

A notice on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website said there have been 16 reports of Sony notebook batteries overheating since August last year, including some from Dell and IBM, with Apple, Toshiba and Fujitsu also recalling certain notebook models as a precautionary measure.

Almost ten million Sony-made batteries have now been recalled worldwide since last year.

“Battery packs subject to this replacement program should not be used while awaiting a replacement battery pack. You may continue to use the notebook computer using the AC adapter power cord originally provided with your Acer notebook,” said the Acer America website.

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