Toshiba not recalling faulty laptop batteries

By James Wells

SYDNEY: Toshiba Australia claims reports that the company is conducting a global recall of Sony-made laptop batteries is inaccurate and has announced it will be treating any consumer returns as a normal warranty issue.

Associated Press (AP) announced this afternoon that Toshiba was recalling 340,000 Dynabook and Satellite laptops which contained rechargeable batteries supplied by Sony.

The report claimed the Toshiba batteries were similar to the Sony-made products which were inside the recently recalled 1.8 million Apple laptops and 4.1 million Dell laptops which represented the two largest recalls in consumer electronics history.

Toshiba Information Systems Divisions general manager, Mark Whittard told Current.com.au this afternoon that there is no safety issue related to the batteries so the company will deal with the faults through its usual warranty process.

"We haven’t announced a recall globally – those articles are incorrect. There is no safety issue and there is no recall announcement,” he said.

"We have found that there is an issue with a batch of battery packs and the issue is that they may not charge or discharge and it is not related to the recent safety announcements from other manufacturers."

AP said that the faulty batteries “sometimes stop recharging or run out of power, but no other accidents have been reported”.

Whittard said the global estimate of 340,000 laptops affected in the batch manufactured from March to May this year was accurate, but that a small proportion of these were sold on to the Australian market.

“Our understanding is that less than 10 per cent is affected in that batch. This is less than 1,000 units locally, which is less than a day’s sales.”

The AP report said that the defect relating to the Toshiba laptops is not directly related to the problem which caused the Apple and Dell recalls where there was a chance the batteries could overheat and catch fire.

Whittard would not confirm whether the faulty batteries were manufactured by Sony.

"I don’t know what battery manufacturer they are. We use a number of third party battery manufacturers.”

Whittard said an exchange program has been established for consumers who encounter problems with their laptops.

"We will simply be handling any customer through our warranty replacement program. Any customer can simply ring our support centre or visit their nearest authorised Toshiba mobile care centre which is based in major capital cities.”

The warranty on the batteries is 12 months.

Consumers can contact the Toshiba call centre on 1800 021 100.

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