By Matthew Henry
TOKYO: Sony’s laptop battery problems have resurfaced with fresh reports suggesting Toshiba has recalled 10,000 Sony-made lithium-ion battery packs worldwide due to concerns they may overheat, posing a fire risk.
According to international reports, Toshiba yesterday confirmed three Toshiba laptop battery cells using batteries made by Sony in December 2005 have caught on fire during the last 10 months, prompting the recall of the production run.
The batteries are different to those involved in the infamous recall debacle of late last year, which became the biggest consumer recall in history.
Of the 10,000 batteries produced for the Toshiba notebooks in question, it is estimated that around 5,100 units may be affected by the fault.
However, up to 10 actual notebook PC models may be involved worldwide.
A Toshiba Japan spokesperson quoted today in the Australian IT newspaper’s website said notebook PCs using the potentially-dangerous batteries have been sold in the United States, Europe and the rest of Asia.
The Australian arm of the mobile computing company, Toshiba Information Systems Division (ISD), declined to comment specifically on the recall today, saying only that it supports the continuing voluntary recall program initiated by Sony on 28 September 2006.
No information is available for Australian retailers or consumers and Toshiba ISD has not confirmed whether the local market will be affected.
“Customers wishing to participate in Sony’s voluntary battery replacement program can download a utility and instructions for this program via the Toshiba support website www.isd.toshiba.com.au/sonybattery,” said a Toshiba ISD spokesperson.