Apple is replacing thousands of first generation iPod Nanos because of an overheating battery that can pose a safety risk – but getting a replacement might be tricky.

The company says some of the Nanos, which came out in 2005 and 2006, overheated and fizzled out.

Apple said the problem "has been traced to a single battery supplier that produced batteries with a manufacturing defect. While the possibility of an incident is rare, the likelihood increases as the battery ages." Owners are recommended to stop using the device and get the free replacement.

Customers should go to the Apple site and provide the serial number of their old product. Then the company will send an envelope to send the old product back. You can also give your old iPod to an Apple store.

But don't count on getting the latest model when you send in your old iPod, which at this point is almost an antique when it comes to techie toys. The company will be replacing the oldies with another first-generation iPod rather than a current model.

And if you've already gotten rid of your defective iPod you're out of luck.

A CTV News producer was one of the customers who received an email saying Apple would replace her dead iPod. But she threw hers out after Apple told her it was unfixable – six years ago.

The replacement scheme affects millions of iPods sold between September 2005 and December 2006.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Lynda Steele...