Apple has voluntarily issued a recall notice for up to 128,000 PowerBook and iBook batteries, because they pose a fire hazard.

Affected notebooks include the 12-inch iBook G4, 12-inch PowerBook G4 and 15-inch PowerBook G4. Not all these products are affected - only certain batteries with particular serial numbers have been recognised as dangerous, Apple said. These batteries were manufactured by LG Chem of South Korea.

These lithium ion rechargeable batteries were sold worldwide from October 2004 through May 2005. The affected batteries could overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Apple has received six consumer reports of this occurring.

"If you have a recalled battery, please stop using it and order a replacement battery immediately. Once you have removed the battery, plug in the AC adapter to power the computer. If you must temporarily use your computer with the battery, do not leave it unattended and check for signs of overheating," Apple warns.

Apple has begun a worldwide exchange program and is offering affected customers a new replacement battery, free of charge.

Full details of affected models, serial numbers and the procedure for establishing if your Mac is affected have been made available on Apple's online support pages.