Lenovo recalls 205,000 ThinkPad batteries

Global recall launched after customers report overheating incidents

Lenovo is recalling hundreds of thousands of laptop batteries from customers around the world after several reported that their products had overheated.

The manufacturer announced the voluntary recall on Monday. Lenovo is offering to replace, for free, 205,000 extended-life nine-cell batteries that shipped in several of its ThinkPad models.

"Lenovo has confirmed that notebook computers containing the recalled battery packs may overheat, posing a potential safety hazard to users if the battery pack experiences a strong external impact," said the company in a statement released on Thursday.

The recall was prompted by complaints from five customers that their laptops had overheated.

"Our engineers were able to recreate the incidents by dropping the ThinkPads at a certain height and a certain angle. Once we concluded that this was not a random failure, and one that could be prevented, we immediately decided on a recall to ensure our customers' safety", a UK spokeswoman for Lenovo told ZDNet UK. She added that the batteries in question had been manufactured by Sanyo.

The nine-cell battery packs were sold as part of the following ThinkPad models, or as optional or replacement packs:

  • R60 and R60e Series
  • T60 and T60p Series
  • Z60m, Z61e, Z61m, and Z61p Series

Last year, Lenovo was one of several laptop manufacturers who were forced to recall batteries after reports of laptops overheating or catching fire. The cells in question were manufactured by Sony.

As this article explains, modern laptop batteries contain a large amount of power which can be dangerous if it is discharged over a few seconds, rather than hours, as intended.

ZDNet UK's Charles McLellan contributed to this report.