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Thursday, August 24, 2006, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

Feds clear Apple's MacBook Pro batteries

The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has examined substandard batteries for Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks and determined they don't pose a safety risk.

Apple last month voluntarily launched an exchange program for batteries sold as part of its 15-inch notebook line, explaining on its Web site that some of batteries did not meet its "high standards for battery performance."

The program was believed to be in response to reports of 15-inch MacBook Pro batteries that had swollen or become deformed due an excessive amount of heat.

Apple said the affected batteries may have been included in 15-inch MacBook Pro systems that were sold from February 2006 through May 2006. The affected batteries have model number A1175 and a 12-digit serial number that ends with U7SA, U7SB or U7SC.

A CPSC's spokesman declined to say whether Sony was involved in the manufacturing of the MacBook Pro batteries in question.

Earlier this month, Dell said it was recalling 4.1 million of its own laptop batteries — which include cells manufactured by Sony — because they could potentially overheat and spark a fire. The Dell recall was the largest consumer electronics recall ever.