Apple has launched a global battery exchange program for iBooks and PowerBooks.

The company says: “In cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other international safety authorities, Apple is voluntarily recalling certain lithium ion rechargeable batteries that were 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.”

Not all such computers are affected. Apple has published full details for users to help them identify if they own affected models. This information is available at this site

As with the recent PowerBook battery recall, not all portable Macs sold in the period are affected. However, the dangerous batteries were once again manufactured by LG Chem, of South Korea.

Apple warns: “The affected batteries could overheat, posing a fire hazard to consumers. Apple has received six consumer reports of these batteries overheating.”

It advises users with a recalled battery to stop using it and order a replacement battery “immediately”.

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