Battery Mishaps Lead to Major AT&T Recall Effort

Explosions, fires lead to replacement of 17,000 units
By Kevin Langbaum,  Newser User
Posted Jan 16, 2008 2:50 PM CST
An AT&T U-verse technician arrives for an installation appointment.   (AT&T)
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(Newser) – AT&T will replace 17,000 backup batteries for its U-Verse TV system after a handful of small explosions and fires, reports the Wall Street Journal. The batteries, made by a now-defunct Québec company, were housed in outside equipment cabinets. There was property damage in two cases but no one was hurt by the mishaps, which AT&T says won’t affect the Internet-based TV service.

AT&T began investigating the batteries after an incident in October 2006, but an outside evaluation reported no higher risk than comparable batteries. "However, these batteries no longer meet performance requirements," said a company spokesman, and will be replaced at a cost estimated at a few million dollars. U-Verse has about 126,000 subscribers and AT&T hopes to reach 1 million in 2008.