iBook G4 Recalled Battery

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by sarthak, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. sarthak, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014

    sarthak macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    Picked up an iBook G4 (see link in sig for specs). Unfortunately, it came with a battery that runs about 40 minutes on batt saver mode. Despite that, the cycle count is only 201.

    This battery has a serial # that fits in the range of the RECALLED batteries. I called up Apple but they suggest I buy another one from "welovemacs" or other retailers as they no longer have it. The other option they suggest is I use the iBook G4 without a battery (which looks as ridiculous as it sounds). A new battery seems to go for around $100 or around $20 for a generic CHINA brand from eBay.

    What can be done about this now?

    Model: iBook G4 12" - A1061 - SN Range #6C519 through 6C552.

    Source: http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/2006...k-and-PowerBook-Computers-Due-To-Fire-Hazard/
  2. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2013
    United Kingdom
    You seem to have already answered your own question - either go for a genuine battery (probably not financially justifiable) or instead go for a aftermarket replacement (they're not too bad, but they last nowhere near as long as the real deal).

    Alternatively, you could rebuild the battery - there are many guides on the internet for this, but it's probably not a good idea to go messing around with these cells unless you know exactly what you're doing.
  3. sarthak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    What I meant was whether or not Apple's recall was more of a stunt for public safety or an actual threat. As in, can I still use this battery or is it necessary that all of them that were recalled are defective?

    I don't want to just throw it out per Apple's suggestion to recycle it and buy a new one.

    Also, anyone else have experience with recall programs? How long are they supposed to run for?
  4. harrymatic macrumors 6502

    Dec 30, 2013
    United Kingdom
    You're probably absolutely fine with the battery - it hasn't exploded yet, so the likelihood of it being dangerous is incredibly slim. I don't remember hearing any reports of fires or exploding batteries back in the day either. If Apple have told you that they no longer have any of the batteries, then there's nothing more they can do.
  5. 556fmjoe macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2014
    I don't know the specifics of the recall, but lithium ion batteries have some safety concerns. They can swell and break your computer case, and in some cases (generally not computer batteries that I am aware of), they can violently explode and release hydroflouric acid vapor which cause serious damage if inhaled, as happened to this guy with some CR123s: http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?340028-Flashlight-Explosion&

    I'd consider any battery recall a safety issue just in case.

    I bought a $15 Chinese battery from Amazon (brand was Mayday Technologies) and it has been perfectly fine. It is slightly off colored from the rest fo the PowerBook, but their iBook version might match better. I figured a $100 NuTech battery was not worth it for a machine that cost $100. Plus I can afford to replace this thing 5 times before I start losing money.

    Hasn't blown up on me yet ;)
  6. Zotaccian macrumors 6502a


    Apr 25, 2012
    It would surprising if it would now explode, after working for so many years. I have a battery from year 2006 in my Macbook which still holds charge great and has not swollen a bit altough I have seen very badly swollen Macbook batteries which are/were newer. I still think that when battey is 8 years old it can be considered bit risky from reliability point of view.

    I also think that if you buy a new battery, the only wise option is to buy cheap one from eBay and such.
  7. DeltaMac macrumors G3


    Jul 30, 2003
    The recall programs, as well as other repair programs, run as long as Apple offers them.
    The recall for G4 batteries is inactive from years ago (likely ended sometime in 2007 or 8, just guessing)
    The main issue for those batteries, IIRC, is overheating, or even exploding.
    Typically, those issues are preceded by obvious swelling of the battery, even to the point of bursting the seams. You can decide for yourself if the battery is swelling. The battery should not rock when placed on a flat surface, or have deformation of the battery.
    Even though the official recall program is over years ago, if you think you have a physical issue with your battery, it won't hurt to call Apple. I expect that if they have replacements in stock, that they will replace that for you. (But, the last G4 laptop would be obsolete since 5 years after that was last sold as new (which would be from May 2006, at the latest). So, no parts (which would include batteries) or other support would be available after (approximately) May 2011. Unlikely that Apple will still have any support replacements for obsolete systems, so you are at least 3 years out of date.
    But, call Apple support. They might have another response, particularly if you claim a safety issue. (a dead battery is not a safety issue, btw. :D )
  8. gavinstubbs09 macrumors 65816


    Feb 17, 2013
    NorCal boonies ~~~by Reno sorta
    To be worried about a battery that was supposed to be recalled several years ago you are just better off to keep running the battery or get a new battery. Yeah a cheap battery is $20 on eBay but whenever possible i shoot for a OEM battery which can typically be much more money, but I know I have longer battery life and the plastics match with the computer.
  9. Cox Orange macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2010
    Do the replacement batteries for PowerBooks not look like the original ones? I only know that the ibook batteries look the same from outside (I mean the white shell) as the china ones.

    I read about a newspaper agency or something that had a PowerBook G4 explode in 2009 and they (according to the german article at mactechnews) got it replaced by Apple. I don't know, if they had a 3 year care plan, though (considering PBs were build till 2006).
    The original english article it refers to is here http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/1051166/powerbook-explodes-london-office Safari (under 10.4) doesn't show the article correct (pictures over text) and I didn't want to open Ten4Fox or Firefox, so I don't know, if they mention it there, what they did.

    My ibooks original battery was in the recall range, too. The stupid thing was. I knew about that and looked up my number, but it wasn't under them. Then they added more serial numbers to it and at that time I didn't know about it and look after it.
    I still have used it and it gets very warm, but so far I had luck. In the meantime I have salvaged some batteries from broken ibooks, that have 1h left.
    So maybe not buy a new-in-box original Apple battery, but look out for auctions that have an original battery. They go for the same price here as the china made ones. It has to be auctions, though, I'd say.
  10. sarthak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 19, 2012
    It took them a while to find it in their system but had absolutely none available to ship out. I spoke with a senior adviser whom stated I could continue using it if it's not swelling or heating up but, if I'm concerned about safety I should take it to an Apple store for disposal and purchase another 3rd party one.

    It is true that they discontinued this model years ago but, I didn't hope to get a SN # in range for recalled batteries. I realize now even if they had any, they would probably be all dead (or weak) from being stored for so many years since they stopped manufacturing them.

    At the moment the battery does not seem to heat up even while charging. Runs about 40 minutes on battery saver mode.

    If the battery is not posing a risk and I am to replace it, then would a generic CHINA battery be any better (in terms of safety)?

    It would certainly, amp up the run time to 5 hours. Though, I'm not even sure about whether or not generic batteries run as long as advertised.

    For the iBook G4 12", I'm able to source Original batteries that run around 3 hours but again, I wouldn't know if they're in the recall range or not. The concern again lies to buying CHINA generic batteries that have lower standards of manufacturing hence, the cheap cost (~$20).

    I'm planning on using it as a spare computer and am tied to the grid. I'm going to leave it in there for now especially since it's run time is in minutes.

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