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Another Battery Recall


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Retired Tech

Retired Tech

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Toshiba is to recall some 340,000 notebook batteries made by Sony, but insists the problem is not related to similar recalls by Apple and Dell

This is the latest in series of battery issues for Sony. Both Dell and Apple have recalled almost six million of the Sony-made batteries in recent times, after a number of the faulty cells caused laptops to overheat and, in some cases, catch fire.

According to a statement on the Toshiba website, the batteries, which are used in its Dynabook and Dynabook Satellite laptops manufactured between March and May 2006, are not affected by the recent safety problems Dell and Apple experienced. Instead, they are affected by power problems, and could lose their charge while being used on the move.

"We have investigated with Sony whether those PCs that employ the subject batteries are affected with the same problem that caused the recent recalls issued by Dell and Apple, and have found that the system design and the protection system of Toshiba notebook PCs differ from those of Dell and Apple," the company's statement said.

"We have found no evidence that the problem reported by Dell and Apple in their recalls applies to our notebook PCs. Sony has confirmed to us that there is no such problem as cited in the recalls of Dell and Apple with the battery packs supplied to Toshiba."

It is not yet clear who will foot the bill for the recall, or how much it will cost to replace the faulty batteries. However, Toshiba is adamant that it will not affect annual earnings this year. Sony could end up paying out a USD257 million bill for the Dell and Apple recall.

In further bad news for the embattled laptop manufacturers, earlier this week Virgin Atlantic announced that the use of Dell and Apple laptops on board its planes would be restricted. The airline has followed similar moves by Qantas and Korean Air to ban the use of all Apple and Dell laptops during flights, unless the battery has been removed.

This means that the laptops can only be used with in-seat power supplies, which are generally only available in Premier Economy or Upper Class seats.

In a statement on its website, Virgin said that any batteries must be individually wrapped or protected, and are limited to only two per passenger.

"In cabins where the seats are fitted with In Seat Power Supplies, leads/adapters will be offered," it said. "Where no ISPS is provided or no laptop leads/adapters are available the use of Apple and Dell laptops is prohibited."
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