updated 02:30 pm EST, Wed January 9, 2008
LG Notebook Batt Explodes
LG is investigating the causes of an incident in which the lithium-ion battery pack in a Korean reporter's notebook caught fire, the company says. Following the accident, which largely destroyed the notebook, LG has noted that the battery was made by its own LG Chem sister label but also claims that this sort of fire simply "should not occur" in normal conditions. A third-party group is being brought in to independently judge whether or not the fire is evidence of a systematic flaw or an isolated problem.
The issue raises concerns that LG and other notebook makers may not have completely resolved issues with batteries igniting without warning. A rash of fires between 2006 and 2007 prompted a recall of over 9.6 million lithium-ion notebook batteries from Sony as well as a tougher Japanese battery standard that took steps to make batteries less volatile.
Lithium-ion batteries are known to be relatively fragile regardless of some precautions and can ignite when dented in a fall, creating a chemical reaction that would normally be impossible in regular use.