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Apple recalls 1.8M iBook and PowerBook G4 batteries

Apple Computer on Thursday recalled 1.8 million notebook batteries used in its previous generation iBook and PowerBook G4 notebooks because they pose a fire hazard.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based company said it has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns. While there have been some reports of minor property damage, Apple said no serious injuries have been reported.

The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries include cells manufactured by Sony and were sold with the company's 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4 notebooks between October 2003 and August 2006.

Apple's recall comes just weeks after Dell said it was recalling 4.1 million of its own notebook batteries, which similarly featured cells built by Sony.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), Apple's recall covers 1.1 million battery packs sold in the United States and some 700,000 additional units sold abroad. The batteries were manufactured in Japan, Taiwan and China.

"Consumers should stop using the recalled batteries immediately and contact Apple to arrange for a replacement battery, free of charge," Apple said. "After removing the recalled battery from their iBook or PowerBook, consumers should plug in the AC adapter to power the computer until a replacement battery arrives."

Affected customers can contact Apple at (800) 275-2273 between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. CT Monday through Sunday or log on to Apple’s Web site to check the battery’s serial number and request a replacement battery.

In a separate announcement on Thursday, the CPSC said batteries being sold with Apple's current line of 15-inch MacBook Pro notebooks have been cleared and do not pose any risks to customers.

Sony is estimating the overall cost in supporting Apple and Dell's battery recall program at 20 billion yen to 30 billion yen, or $172.1 million to $258.1 million.