Hewlett-Packard (HPQ) has begun a voluntary recall of 54,000 lithium-ion batteries used in notebook computers that "can overheat, posing a fire and burn hazard to consumers." The recall was announced Friday by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The agency said "Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed." HP, the world's largest PC maker, recalled 70,000 of the batteries for the same reason in May 2009.
Lithium-ion batteries are used in a number of consumer electronics devices because they are light and carry a charge for longer than many competing products. But, recalls of the batteries have been a fairly regular occurrence over the last several years. Most of the recalls have been due to overheating.
In 2006, nearly 10 million lithium-ion batteries made by Sony (SNE) were recalled. The products were used in Dell (DELL), Sony, Apple (AAPL), Lenovo, Panasonic, Toshiba, Hitachi, Fujitsu and Sharp. In 2007, at least two lawsuits were filed against Apple for overheating of lithium-ion batteries used in the iPhone. Nokia (NOK) said in 2007 that 46 million of its handsets might have similar problems.
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