updated 10:25 am EST, Fri February 22, 2008
LG Battery Halts Notebooks
LG has voluntarily stopped selling one of its unnamed laptop models after reports of a battery meltdown in one example. The malfunction occurred in the companyís own South Korea on Thursday while the laptop was being used by a graduate student, according to LG spokesperson Jik Soo Kim. The manufacturer of the battery, LG Chem, is investigating the causes but has not yet returned a verdict.
Kim goes on to say the laptop model in question was a discontinued country-specific model, further pointing out that his company's batteries are engineered to dissolve rather than undergo a potentially harmful explosion.
The story breaks in an unfortunate time for LG, as January reports told of another similar case. Specifically, another battery made by LG Chem and in an LG laptop exploded, again in Korea, though an independent investigation by the Korea Electrotechnology Research Institute revealed the possibility that the explosion did not occur under regular use conditions. LG maintains the circumstances involved "an external shock under an extremely high temperature."
This was echoed in Institute statements. "The odds of a battery explosion is one in 1 billion, but statistical analysis has little meaning in this case," said a researcher at the Institute, referring to the extreme circumstances. Reportedly, LG's offer to retrieve the data in the laptop was unnecessary, as it simply booted up once a new battery was connected. LG did replace the laptop, however.