A Decent Battery

They don’t make rechargeable lithium-ion batteries like they used to.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission announced today that Lenovo and IBM are recalling an estimated 526,000 battery packs, after an overheated battery caused a fire with enough smoke and sparks that a fire extinguisher was needed to put it out.

Joining the ranks of Apple, Hewlett-Packard and Dell, Lenovo is the fourth major manufacturer to announce a battery recall in the last five months.

The complication in Lenovo’s notebooks comes from the battery cells made by Sony. The liquid inside them is flammable, and if there is a short, a chemical chain reaction occurs that can melt the battery or even make it explode. As manufacturers strive to make batteries that will last longer, more of the flammable liquid is packed into the small space.

Does it shake your confidence in a brand when something like this happens? Does it shake your confidence in an industry when it happens to four brands? Or with technology advancing so fast, are mistakes like this accepted by consumers — even expected?