These passwords were set by a former owner. The reason is theft protection. Ideally you would contact the former owner(s) and they would give you the passwords. Generally you can trace back the chain to the proper former owners if you want to spend the time and effort.
If these laptops were stolen somewhere along the line of ownership, well that's that.
No it isn't true. However there are some hardware passwords, one of which is is designed to make the box into scrap if it is stolen because it requires a motherboard change to unlock it.
Go to www.lenovo.com and download a Hardware Maintenance Manual. It will tell you all about the hardware passwords and which ones you can change.
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