By Sarah Falson

WASHINGTON: The Sony battery saga entered a new chapter on Monday when a US government agency backed a voluntary replacement program involving another 340,000 Sony-made batteries in various consumer and business laptops.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) – the US government’s consumer-watchdog – issued a report on its website listing the affected battery-packs (various Fujitsu Lifebook, Gateway, Sony Vaio and Toshiba Portege, Qosmio, Satellite and Tecra models), the amount of new units affected (340,000), and the current number of overheating or fire incidents reported worldwide (16). 

“Consumers should remove the affected batteries from notebook computers until they contact their computer manufacturer and receive further instructions,” the report said.

“Batteries covered by this program will be replaced free of charge. Consumers should use only batteries obtained from their computer manufacturer or from an authorised reseller.”

An additional three million batteries will be recalled worldwide in this latest episode, but there have been no reports of any Australian models affected.

A total of 10 million batteries have now been recalled worldwide, according to a statement made by Sony to CNN’s news-based website, The companies involved have been Apple Computer, Dell, IBM’s Lenovo, Fujitsu and Toshiba.