Japanese electronics maker Sony on Thursday said it will
recall certain lithium-ion notebook computer batteries following
complaints of overheating by some computer makers.
Sony explains that on rare occasions, microscopic metal
particles in the recalled battery cells may come into contact with other
parts of the battery cell, leading to a possibility of short circuit
within the cell. Typically, a battery pack will simply power off when a
cell short circuit occurs. However, under certain rare conditions an
internal short circuit may lead to cell overheating and potentially
flames. The potential for this to occur can be affected by variations in
the system configurations found in different notebook computers.
Sony's battery problems deepened on Friday after
Toshiba joined the list of PC makers recalling its batteries
including Dell, Apple and Lenovo.
This is the latest in a series of setbacks that have shaken consumer and
investor confidence in Sony's technological competitiveness.
Toshiba said it would recall 830,000 laptop computer batteries made by
Sony as part of Sony's newly launched global replacement program.
Sony started the program in the wake of yet another recall on Thursday by
notebook PC makers of potentially faulty Sony-made batteries.
Lenovo Group Ltd. and IBM are recalling more than half a million notebook
computer batteries made by Sony after a computer caught fire at Los
Angeles International Airport, Lenovo and U.S. officials said on Thursday.
Sony said the costs of the replacement program were not clear at present
because details such as the duration of the program and the number of
batteries to be replaced have not yet been formally established.
The recall affects 168,500 battery packs sold in the United States and
about 357,500 packs sold internationally, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety