Sony recalls 90,000 of its own lithium-ion batteries

By Sarah Falson

TOKYO: Sony has announced it will recall 90,000 of its own batteries, adding its name to a still-growing list of PC vendors who have recalled notebook computers for fears the Sony-branded internal batteries will cause overheating.

This latest recall joins Sony with Toshiba, Dell, IBM’s Lenovo, Sharp, Fujitsu PC and Apple Computer, who have between them either recalled or issued voluntary replacement programs for close to 8 million notebook computers worldwide.

The affected Sony computers are VAIO-branded, 60,000 of which were sold within Japan, and the remainder in China, according to Bloomberg. A Japan-based newspaper speculated that 300,000 Sony batteries needed to be recalled, but this hasn’t been confirmed by Sony.

Bloomberg says Sony is also reviewing its annual earnings, after an estimated 20-30 billion yen (AU$223-335 million) was set aside in August to cover the Apple and Dell recalls. The latest slew of recalls could cause Sony a serious financial burden.

Sony is confident that the past three months of trouble it has experienced won’t soil the company’s name.

“The trouble at Sony’s battery business, which accounts for only about 70 billion yen in annual sales, doesn’t mean the company’s other products won’t sell,” Koichi Hariya, an analyst at Mizuho Securities Co. in Tokyo, told Bloomberg.

Australian Sony representatives were unavailable for comment today, but there have not been reports of any overheating problems in the company’s notebooks.

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