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Tuesday, September 05, 2006
Matsushita Recalls 6,000 Notebook PC Batteries

Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. said on Tuesday it had started recalling 6,000 PC batteries as they could overheat when subjected to a strong impact -- the latest battery recall involving Japanese electronics makers.

Matsushita declined to identify the supplier of the batteries in question, but said neither the Panasonic brand maker itself nor Sony had made them.

The move follows an announcement by Dell last month that it would recall 4.1 million notebook computer batteries made by Sony because they could overheat and catch fire. Apple also said last month it would recall 1.8 million Sony-made batteries for similar reasons.

The Matsushita spokesman said there had been no cases of the batteries in question catching fire and no one had been injured, and it was unclear how much the recall would cost the company.

Sony estimates the two recalls by Dell and Apple would cost it between 20 billion yen and 30 billion yen, or $172 million to $259 million.

The Matsushita spokesman said that when a notebook PC using the battery in question had been accidentally dropped on the floor or suffered any other strong impact, there was a chance that a tiny metal spring used in the battery pack could fall off on to battery cells, causing overheating.

The batteries are loaded in some of Matsushita's notebook PCs made in April and May 2005 and sold in Japan.

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