Earlier this month it was Dell, now it is Apple's turn, as the company announced today that it is to recall 1.8 million laptop batteries, the second largest recall in history.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with the Apple, has today announced a voluntary recall of its rechargeable, lithium-ion batteries with cells manufactured by Sony for certain previous iBook G4 and PowerBook G4 notebook computers.

The recall affects about 1.1 million battery packs in America plus an additional 700,000 battery packs that were sold outside the US.

"These lithium ion batteries can overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers", the Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a statement.

Apple has received nine reports of batteries overheating, including two reports of minor burns from handling overheated computers and other reports of minor property damage. However so far no serious injuries were reported.

Consumers should remove the battery from the computer to view the model and serial numbers labelled on the bottom of the unit.

The batteries in question where sold worldwide from October 2004 through May 2005 for use with the following notebook computers: 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4.

Apple has said that it has initiated a worldwide exchange program and will provide eligible customers with a new replacement battery, free of charge.

Readers who are worried whether or not this announcement affects them can check at Apple's dedicated battery exchange website