Tracking: PowerBook 15″ Recalled Battery Replacements Defective?

Replacement Defective?

I have been researching and starting to track an issue that has come to my attention regarding the replacement batteries that Powerbook G4 15″ users received after the Replacement Program went into effect. I have recently acquired a 2.5 year old Powerbook G4 15″ that has a replacement battery. The battery, received earlier this year through the Replacement Program, is Dead.

Replacement Defective?

While the System Profiler does show that it is present, it will not charge. Also, after resetting the PMU (Power Management Unit) by following the instructions here, there was no change to the battery’s charging state. Zapping PRam had no effect either. The battery will simply not charge. If this battery were a few years old, I would not be surprised, however, it is not. It is less than a year old. I replaced it with a non-recalled battery from another G4 Powerbook and did not experience any issues, thus removing issues with the PowerBook itself from the equation.

YOUR HELP NEEDED: Please read through this and post your battery information in the comments area. Perhaps if enough readers respond, Apple will Recall the Recall-Replacement batteries.

Also, reading through various Apple Support threads (here) seems to point out some things in common (while discounting others).

My findings:

  • Many of the batteries are the replacement ones issued after the recall
  • Suddenly stops charging
  • Doesn’t matter if Leopard or Tiger is installed
  • Affects PowerBook G4 15″ machines
  • Resetting PMU produces varied results, most of them do not resolve

I have found many threads in the Apple Support forums that point to “recalled” batteries so my thought is that any participants in the Recall Program received “less than adequate” replacements. What a nice dilemma to be in…you are offered to replace a defective battery with one that is of lesser quality and performance. Anyway, here are a few threads that talk about their recall-replacement batteries being “dead” (hopefully these links will stay active):

  • “battery remains at 0%” – here
  • “Powerbook battery will not charge” – here
  • “Battery fully charged, but PB will only run on AC power” – here
  • “Computer does not run on the battery” – here
  • “Battery trouble need suggestion” – here
  • “Charging switches between on and off although process not fully completed” – here
  • “Battery problems” – here
  • ” Battery will not charge. Computer runs only off adapter” – here
  • …and these are just threads between Oct 22, 2007 and Nov 20, 2007 and only in the PB G4 15″ Batteries and Power section…

I think that it might make sense for people to start posting the serial numbers of the batteries in question to see if we can identify any commonalities between them. Please post a comment below with:

  • the type of Apple Powerbook or iBook you have
  • if you participated in the recall replacement program
  • the serial number of the batter that is showing problems
  • any other pertinent information

I don’t have my PB with me but I will post the information when it is available. I will also try to post this blog article to the various support forums in an effort to get more participation.

HTD says: Maybe it is time to Recall the recall-replacement batteries!

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6 Responses

  1. I have added a post to the Apple Support forum about this topic. Post can be viewed here (unless Apple decides to take it down).

    -HTD

  2. I have added a post to the Apple Support forum about this topic. Post can be viewed here (unless Apple decides to take it down).

    -HTD

  3. Well, there must be something to my post as Apple Discussion Moderators have removed my post there. The reason for the removal was this:

    Michael,

    Your post “Recalled-battery replacements defective?” has been removed from Apple Discussions as it contains a poll, a petition or links to one.

    Regarding your individual issue with the replacement battery. If you are having a problem with the replacement battery, I would recommend calling AppleCare, 800-275-2273, and see what can be done.

    Submissions should be either a technical support question or a technical support answer.

    Please see the Apple Discussions Terms of Use for more information on the appropriate use of Apple’s Discussion forums.
    http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#terms

    Each Discussion user is required to agree to these terms before gaining posting privileges. You reserve the right to not post on Apple Discussions should you disagree with these terms.

    If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection at http://www.apple.com/feedback.

    Apple Discussions Staff

    I guess that it is in the grey area whether or not this post is a poll, petition or links to one. I was truly trying to get information so as to inform Apple that they “may” have a problem on their hands.

    I guess I will pursue other means. And I might try to repost to the discussion group some other way…who knows.

    -HTD

  4. Well, there must be something to my post as Apple Discussion Moderators have removed my post there. The reason for the removal was this:

    Michael,

    Your post “Recalled-battery replacements defective?” has been removed from Apple Discussions as it contains a poll, a petition or links to one.

    Regarding your individual issue with the replacement battery. If you are having a problem with the replacement battery, I would recommend calling AppleCare, 800-275-2273, and see what can be done.

    Submissions should be either a technical support question or a technical support answer.

    Please see the Apple Discussions Terms of Use for more information on the appropriate use of Apple’s Discussion forums.
    http://discussions.apple.com/help.jspa#terms

    Each Discussion user is required to agree to these terms before gaining posting privileges. You reserve the right to not post on Apple Discussions should you disagree with these terms.

    If you would like to send feedback to Apple about a product, please use the appropriate selection at http://www.apple.com/feedback.

    Apple Discussions Staff

    I guess that it is in the grey area whether or not this post is a poll, petition or links to one. I was truly trying to get information so as to inform Apple that they “may” have a problem on their hands.

    I guess I will pursue other means. And I might try to repost to the discussion group some other way…who knows.

    -HTD

  5. My friend has a 15″ Powerbook and received a new battery under the recall earlier this year. It recently got to the point that it wouldn’t even hold an hour of charge. She called Apple and they over-nighted her a new battery without question.

    I can’t provide serial numbers and such right now, but I’ll see if I can. Looks like there may be a valid issue here.

    For the record, I also participated in the recall for my 12″ Powerbook, and my replacement battery still holds a 4-5 hour charge (which is what I consider normal). It DOES seem like it may be swelling a little, it doesn’t fit flush with the case of the Powerbook anymore, but this may also be due to some changes in what I carry in my bag, and I may be warping the case a little from external force.

  6. My friend has a 15″ Powerbook and received a new battery under the recall earlier this year. It recently got to the point that it wouldn’t even hold an hour of charge. She called Apple and they over-nighted her a new battery without question.

    I can’t provide serial numbers and such right now, but I’ll see if I can. Looks like there may be a valid issue here.

    For the record, I also participated in the recall for my 12″ Powerbook, and my replacement battery still holds a 4-5 hour charge (which is what I consider normal). It DOES seem like it may be swelling a little, it doesn’t fit flush with the case of the Powerbook anymore, but this may also be due to some changes in what I carry in my bag, and I may be warping the case a little from external force.

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