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article imageHeat Back on Sony As Defective Batteries in Toshiba Laptops Spark Another Recall

By Chris Hogg     Jul 20, 2007 in Technology
It would absolutely suck to be Sony today; Toshiba has announced it will be recalling 10,000 laptop batteries because — you guessed it — they contain defective Sony batteries that might make the laptops go boom. The heat is on the Big S once again.
Digital Journal — Toshiba has announced it is recalling more Sony batteries due to risk of fire, igniting a fury of questions about the safety of Sony-made batteries again.
According to Toshiba, three customers had laptops that caught fire over the last 10 months, but nobody was hurt.
The batteries were made on December 3, 2005, and while only 5,100 of the 10,000 total inventory is potentially defective, Toshiba is recalling the entire 10K to make sure dangerous batteries are replaced.
The Washington Post reports these particular Sony batteries are in a range of laptops, including those from Apple, Lenovo, Fujitsu, Gateway, Sony and Toshiba.
Sony says the battery defects were a result of microscopic metal particles that somehow got inside the batteries, causing them to short-circuit and overheat. Most recently in May, a laptop caught fire due to a battery that was not replaced.
Last year, Sony was forced to recall 9.6 million PC batteries after reports of overheating causing fire blazed their way through the media. The total fiasco cost Sony $418 million (USD).
Sony says the financial impact should be limited because the Toshiba recall is relatively small.
However, I think Sony needs to stop talking to investors (who they likely fear will dump stock on this news) and start reassuring the customer they are working hard to make sure this never happens again. What happens when consumers start demanding manufacturers produce PCs that don't contain batteries made by Sony? Financial impact then, will be more than just a blip on the radar.
In addition, Toshiba is lucky; a recall is always a very bad thing for business, but Sony is going to take the heat for it. At the end of the day, the consumer is likely to remember the good ol' Toshiba notebooks were screwed up because of the Sony batteries, allowing Toshiba to keep it street cred while Sony's public image goes down in flames once again.
The affected models include the Satellite A100, A105 and Tecra A7 with accessory batteries PA3399U-2BRS and PA3451U-1BRS. For more information or to see if you are affected, visit Toshiba's support bulletin.
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