CUPERTINO, Calif. -- Apple Computer Inc. recalled nearly 60,000 Apple PowerBook 100 notebook computers Wednesday, saying they may have a circuit board short capabale of melting the outer plastic case.
The safety-related recall is the first mass recall in Apple's history. Apple asked owners of the suspect units to return them to their dealers for minor circuit-board modifications.
The company has been advised of three cases in which a short circuit melted holes in the bottom of the plastic outer case of PowerBook 100 units.
'In each of the three reported cases, no personal injury or property damage has occurred,' Apple said in a statement announcing the recall. 'While the chances of a safety problem are remote, Apple feels that modification of the units is justified to remove any doubt.'
Apple said close to 60,000 units could be affected by the problem.
'We've thoroughly investigated the problem and the chances of this happening are very, very remote. But we want to be really pro-active and eliminate any concern our customers might have,' an Apple spokeswoman said.
She said the recall is the first large-scale recall in Apple history -- and probably the company's first recall of any kind.
The recall affects only Apple PowerBook 100 notebook computers whose 11-digit serial numbers begin with the alphanumeric sequences SQ211 ir SS216.
Apple asks U.S. owners of units with those serial numbers to contact Apple's dedicated PowerBook 100 Safety Helpline at 800-572-1731 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. EDT Monday through Friday to schedule modification of their system.
Upon confirmation of serial numbers, Apple will arrange for express pick-up of the PowerBook 100 units, conduct the modification procedure at its Customer Product Repair Center and return the unit by express service.
The modification will be done without cost to the customer and Apple said its target is to complete the procedure and return the unit to the customer in three days.
Apple subsidiaries in Europe and Pacific regions will provide information to their customers on how to return their PowerBook units for modification.
The company emphasized that recall affects only the PowerBook 100 models and only those with the specified serial bumbers. Apple said the problem cannot occur in any of the PowerBook 140, 145 or 170 models and that currently shipping versions of the PowerBook 100 also are problem- free.