Lithium-ion battery packs provide increased power density and performance, but if they are overheated or overcharged, the batteries can suffer thermal runaway, rupture and, in some cases, fire. A battery pack overheat can also pose a burn hazard to the user.
Tips to Prevent Battery Pack Overheating:
- Use the power cord that came with the laptop or exact replacement specified for the laptop.
- Keep the bottom of the laptop cool. Don’t keep a laptop over a heated surface or over a heating duct or heat system.
- Don’t place the laptop on top of other electronics that may generate heat.
- Choose a lower power option in the advanced power settings (Windows).
- If the computer has been set up to overclock, then disable overclocking.
Recall Description – The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has issued a recall involving Panasonic lithium-ion battery packs installed in 18 models of Sony’s VAIO Series laptop computers. The Panasonic battery packs were also sold separately and installed by Sony as part of repairs. Panasonic battery packs included in this recall have model number VGP-BPS26 and part numbers 1-853-237-11 and 1-853-237-21. Panasonic battery pack model and part numbers are printed on the back of the battery pack.
Remedy – Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled battery packs, power off the laptop, remove the battery and follow instructions to obtain a free replacement. Until a replacement battery pack is received, consumers can use the laptop by plugging in the AC power only.
MICHAEL MARKUSHEWSKI, BSMET, is a failure analysis and crashworthiness expert at ARCCA. He has been lead investigator and crash reconstructionist for military and civilian aircraft and automotive ground vehicle mishaps and has worked with the U.S. Army in the development of advanced seating and restraint systems to protect soldiers from mine-blast related injuries. He has also worked with the National Hockey League to research, develop and test designs to improve player safety.