Sony is recalling 100,000 battery packs due to safety concerns about overheating. The problem batteries affect more than just the Japanese manufacturer's Vaio computers; the batteries are used in notebooks from Hewlett-Packard, Toshiba and Dell. Still, Sony is by far the manufacturer primarily affected by the design flaw: Last month it recalled 438,000 of its Vaio laptops due to the overheating issue.
Sony said the problems with the batteries were caused by factory changes and issues with raw materials, according to published reports.
The U.S. government yesterday announced a voluntary recall of 35,000 Sony batteries and Sony said it would recall an additional 65,000 batteries worldwide. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 19 reports of the batteries overheating, including 17 reports of flames/fire (10 resulting in minor property damage). Two consumers experienced minor burns. For a list of recalled batteries, click here.
This is not the first time Sony has recalled batteries; in 2006, the company took back 9.6 million units, at a cost of approximately 35.5 billion yen ($360 million). This time, the U.S. Safety Commission recall affects approximately 32,000 HP computers, 3,000 from Toshiba, and 150 from Dell.
In 2006, HP issued a statement noting that because of its PC system configuration at that time, HP notebooks using Sony battery cells were not prone to overheating issues that had been observed.
Sony's stock was not adversely affected by the news, posting a gain yesterday of 3.5 percent compared with a 0.7 percent slide in the Nikkei average.