Sony's Battery Problem Hits Home

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Sony Electronics has become a victim of its own problem-prone notebook batteries, stating last week that it would recall about 90,000 Vaio notebook batteries sold in Japan and China and the company will likely expand this voluntary recall in the next few days.

A Sony spokesman told TWICE that the company is now gathering the information regarding which additional Vaio notebook battery packs would be recalled and the company would likely release the information by this week. Sony continued to point out that these recalls are being done voluntarily to give consumers peace of mind and that only the earlier Dell and Apple cases involved situations where the batteries overheated and caused damage.

Compounding Sony's situation are the published reports that three computer vendors may seek extra financial compensation from Sony in response to their having to recall thousands of Sony-made notebook computer batteries.

Toshiba, Fujitsu and Hitachi reportedly have all expressed interest in obtaining from Sony money above and beyond that which Sony has already agreed to pay to cover the recall costs.

“We are studying various possibilities, but nothing has been decided at this moment. We will first of all carry out the battery exchange program, for the confidence of customers using our PCs,” Toshiba said in a written statement.

The other two companies did not return calls.

Sony has not received word from any other company on this topic, the spokesman said.

A total of about 7 million Sony-made batteries have been recalled worldwide since August. 

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