Lenovo has issued a recall of 5th generation ThinkPad X1 Carbon laptops built prior to November 1 (if you own one, you can check your status here) after reports that the battery could overheat. There haven’t been any fires yet, but Lenovo warns that a fire hazard exists. Machines will be inspected and, if necessary, repaired for free in the recall program. Some 83,500 of the laptops have been sold in the US and Canada.
The cause of the problem? It appears that the laptops literally have a screw loose. An unfastened screw left in the laptops during their manufacturing can damage one of the lithium batteries and cause one of the cells to short out. This causes rapid overheating and failure of the battery, with three systems reported to have failed in the field.
The fix is, accordingly, simple: the unfastened screw will be removed. As Lenovo’s FAQ on the issue states, “Removal of any unfastened screw will eliminate any exposure of the battery to an unfastened screw.” No screw, no problem.
Until serviced, Lenovo recommends that affected systems not be used.