Toshiba has become the third major manufacturer after Dell and Apple to issue a worldwide recall of 340,000 notebook batteries made by Sony citing recharging problems. The recall is the latest in a series of embarrassing manufacturing slips for Sony. But surprisingly Sony has not announced a recall for the batteries in its own notebooks.
Despite repeated requests to Sony, to explain why their own notebooks have escaped a recall, when over 1.7 million other vendor’s notebooks using Sony batteries have been recalled has gone unanswered.
The latest recall will have a major impact on Sony’s bottom line with some analysts tipping that the recall could cost them as much as $500 million which would wipe out profits for this financial year.
With the latest recall Toshiba say that batteries sometimes stop recharging or run out of power, but no injuries or accidents have been reported, a spokesman for Toshiba said.
The problems are in batteries in Dynabook and Satellite laptops made by Toshiba from March through to May of this year, the spokesman said. These will be replaced for free.
The recall affects 100,000 laptop batteries in the United States and 45,000 in Japan, he added, without specifying the location of other affected computers.
Toshiba said that the defect was not directly related to the recalls by Dell and Apple of Sony batteries last month, amid concern that those batteries could overheat and catch fire. Dell asked customers to return 4.1 million faulty laptop batteries, while Apple recalled 1.8 million.
This month, Matsushita Electric recalled 6,000 batteries used in its Panasonic notebook computers in Japan, citing concern about overheating.
The production problems at Sony come as the Japanese maker of Walkmans and PlayStations has been trying to bolster its brand image.
Sony said this month that it would postpone the European introduction of its PlayStation 3 by four months, until March, because of problems in producing a component in the machine’s Blu-ray disc feature.
Last week, Sony said that it would postpone until this Saturday the Japanese introduction of its new digital Walkman because of a malfunction of an unspecified part.
Meanwhile, Canon, the camera and photocopier maker, said Tuesday that it was recalling 800,000 desktop copiers in the United States that could catch fire. The recall is part of a global offer made by Canon last week to inspect and repair 1.87 million personal copiers that could be at risk.
Canon received six reports of NP1020 models either smoking or catching fire because of an improperly fitted electrical connection, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said. The company, based in Tokyo, said that fewer than 70,000 copiers, which were made between 1987 and 1998, remain in use.