Apple contacting ANZ Powerbook users over battery recall

Local users of Apple Powerbook with potentially toasting batteries will be sent new batteries through the mail before sending in their old ones, Apple Australia confirmed today.

An Apple spokesperson said Australian-based customers affected by the Korean-made power units were being contacted today and would be sent a new battery in the post, along with a prepaid return envelope to return any potentially defective batteries for safe disposal.

The spokesperson said Apple's return procedure was standardized worldwide, adding that very few customers had been affected both globally or in Australia and New Zealand. However, the spokesperson refused to give numbers or percentages of how many units in the Powerbook fleet were affected.

Some reports place the number of faulty units at 28,000 worldwide, with the number of affected units in Australia under 1000. Apple has not confirmed the figures.

The battery defects are understood to have been traced back to a factory-based quality control failure during manufacturing, with only one batch affected.

Apple's Powerbook batteries are produced by LG Chem Ltd, the now vertically integrated chemical production subsidiary of Korean manufacturing and electronics powerhouse LG Corporation.

LG Chem Ltd's last cited revenues were $US45.2 billion on December 31 2001.

Information on the battery recall is available from Apple at: http://www.apple.com/support/powerbook/batteryexchange/faq/

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